With slicked-back hair and an assertive manner, John Felix Dejean looks and sounds every bit like an experienced litigator. He answers questions quickly and clearly, tapping his fingers on the table in front of him to make his point.

But instead of a courtroom, Dejean is sitting behind a glass partition in the Dallas County Jail interview room. On Aug. 24, he pleaded guilty to one felony theft indictment and three felony indictments for “falsely holding oneself out as a lawyer,” and he is awaiting transfer to state prison to serve a 25-year sentence.