A Westchester County woman who posed as an attorney and recent Columbia Law School graduate and who appeared for a relative who was facing eviction in a landlord-tenant matter in Pleasantville Village Court was sentenced on Thursday to five years of probation.
Delilah Torres, 42, was convicted of first-degree offering a false instrument for filing, a class E felony, according to a release from the Westchester County District Attorney’s Office.
Stephanie Timm-Austen, the clerk for the Pleasantville Village Court, said that on June 26, 2017, Torres appeared at the clerk’s window with two tenants facing an eviction proceeding for nonpayment claiming to be their attorney and asking to speak with the judge.
Timm-Austen said she asked Torres if she would like to submit an order to show cause
“She didn’t seem to know what that was,” the clerk said. “That’s what raised my suspicion.”
The following day, Torres faxed an order to show cause to the court “that was not exactly filled out correctly,” which she submitted to Pleasantville Village Justice John Curley.
Torres appeared before Curley on June 29, at which point the judge questioned the supposed attorney about her credentials.
Torres said she had graduated from Columbia Law that past May but had not yet taken the bar examination, at which point the judge said he was canceling the hearing and ordered Torres to reappear on July 3 with proof of her alma mater.
“We did not hear from Ms. Torres again after that,” Timm-Austen said. Torres was indicted in November.
Assistant Westchester County District Attorney Jennifer Sculco prosecuted the criminal case. Dina Denlea of the Westchester Legal Aid Society appeared for Torres.
As for the tenants in the underlying matter, Curley granted the eviction with a 20-day stay.
Denlea did not immediately respond to requests for comment.