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Bogus San Francisco lawyer convicted of grand theft, extortion

San Francisco's Civic Center, including City Hall, is viewed through a semicircular courthouse window.
The San Francisco Superior Courthouse at 400 McAllister St. overlooks City Hall. | Source: Camille Cohen/The Standard

A 69-year-old man was convicted of pretending to be an attorney and convincing a victim to hire him for $18,500, San Francisco prosecutors said.

Maher Soliman was convicted of one felony count of grand theft by false pretense and two felony counts of extortion, the San Francisco District Attorney's Office said in a statement Friday.

Soliman told the victim that he was a federal prosecutor and required the victim to enter into a fraudulent attorney-client fee agreement for $18,500, according to prosecutors.

Later, in an attempt to collect an additional $2,000, Soliman threatened to accuse the victim of committing a crime and to report the victim's immigration status.

Soliman faces more than four years in state prison, prosecutors said.

Soliman's LinkedIn profile describes him as a "rule of law senior adviser" with eight years of experience with the U.S. security state before working in the private sector.