It may have been an exercise in futility for his many victims, but disbarred attorney, scamming divorce "mediator," and current state prison inmate Gary Karpin appeared in court the other day at a so-called restitution hearing.
Readers of New Times may remember Karpin, seen in his skanky 2006 booking photo to the left. Here's a sampling of stories that we did on the guy, one of the more unsavory white-collar types we've bumped into over the years.
We first exposed Karpin's myriad thefts and frauds in a series of 2005 stories, dubbing him "Dr. Buzzard" in reference to his falsehoods about having earned a doctoral degree and to his criminal acts against numerous Valley residents going through divorces.
A jury earlier convicted Karpin of 23 counts of theft by misrepresentation and one count of fraudulent schemes. Judge Warren Granville sentenced the 58-year-old to sixteen years in prison, which Karpin is appealing.
In court papers filed before the hearing, Deputy County Attorney Annielaurie Van Wie quoted Karpin from his own self-damning testimony during trial.
"It can't be justified," Karpin testified about billing a Phoenix woman almost $90,000 to process a fairly routine divorce (an actual attorney would have charged less than $3,000). "She should never have been billed like that."
That statement was both an admission of guilt and an understatement.
Van Wie asked the judge to order Karpin to repay the two-dozen victims named in the original grand-jury indictment (there were many, many more) nearly $250,000, with by far the largest amount going to the woman who was ripped off for nearly 90K.
Serving as his own counsel (like he did during his losing effort at trial), Karpin bitterly disputed the amount that he owes, claiming he did quality work for his customers/clients and had deserved to be compensated accordingly.
Judge Granville took the restitution part of the case under advisement.
However, with Dr, Buzzard set to be locked up for many years to come (short of his winning his appeal), it seems a long shot that his victims will ever get what's coming to them, financially speaking.
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