Contact 13 Investigates
TV lawyer Randolph Goldberg sanctioned for forgery and fraud
Las Vegas, NV (KTNV) -- Well-known TV lawyer Randolph Goldberg is being sanctioned for forgery and fraud.
It's a federal case Contact 13 Chief Investigator Darcy Spears has been following for nearly four years.
This case is the latest in Goldberg's string of legal troubles.
As we reported in September, Randolph Goldberg is already under federal indictment for tax evasion.
Now, a federal bankruptcy judge says Goldberg is duping clients who are coming to him desperate for help.
Susan Goodman decided to meet with attorney Randolph Goldberg after seeing his television ad.
When we first spoke with her in October 2009, she said it was the worst mistake she ever made.
"He forged four tax returns. He did a power of attorney that I wasn't aware of. He literally threw me out of his office and said--can I say that?--you're breaking my balls, get out."
Federal bankruptcy Judge Mike Nakagawa says Randolph Goldberg is guilty of all that, and more.
In a 44-page decision, the court concluded that "Goldberg acted in bad faith" and that his "willful misconduct" violated both federal and state bankruptcy and ethics rules.
He was found guilty of filing forged tax returns, impersonating Susan Goodman to obtain a fraudulent credit counseling certificate and then filing that certificate with the court, and general malpractice in handling Goodman's Chapter 13 bankruptcy.
"He is hurting people when they're in their worst situation--losing their home," Goodman said in 2009. "They put faith in him. They give him their last dollars to protect them and he doesn't help them. He lies. He cheats them and he keeps wanting money."
The judge called some of Goldberg's explanations for his actions "amazing" and "bizarre at best."
The court questions whether Goldberg's clients are informed that their personal information is at significant risk when left in Goldberg's care.
"The man is all about money," said Goodman.
The judge believes Goldberg doesn't tell clients about all his fees up front in order to keep them from going elsewhere.
Judge Nakagawa wrote, "Goldberg cut corners to avoid delay, to begin collecting his fee, and to move on to another paying client" like Eileen and Larry Pondell, who were witnesses in Goodman's case.
"People come to him because they are in trouble. They need help. And he says let me help myself to what little money you have left," Larry Pondell said in 2009.
We tried to talk to Goldberg at that time as well.
Darcy: Mr. Goldberg hi, I'm Darcy Spears...
Randolph Goldberg: I have no comment. I appreciate it.
Spears: You have no comment?
Goldberg: No, Darcy. After the hearing, Darcy.
Spears: We have your commitment to talk with us after the decision?
Goldberg: Darcy, I promise. I never would avoid you.
Well, he's avoiding Darcy now.
She called his office for comment and he had a staff member call back to say he's been advised by his attorney not to comment because they're appealing the case to the Supreme Court.
The sanctions Goldberg's facing on all this include suspension for six months from filing any new bankruptcy cases in Nevada.
He also has to refund Susan Goodman and pay her attorney fees.
And the judge found Goldberg's conduct possibly also violates criminal statutes.
So the case has been referred to the U.S. Attorney, Nevada Secretary of State, Nevada Attorney General, Clark County District Attorney, the State Bar and the Office of the United States Trustee.