York County man allegedly misrepresented himself as attorney
A York County man who runs an "inmate liaison service" could soon find the need to seek out the services his business touted, though he allegedly did not have the license to do so.
Attorney General Kathleen Kane on Monday announced the Bureau of Consumer Protection had filed the suit against Brandon H. Schnetzka and his business, The ILS (Inmate Liaison Service) Firm LLC for misrepresenting himself as an attorney, according to a press release.
His website advertised "complete inmate assistance" and offered a variety of services including arranging for funds to be placed in prison accounts, securing upcoming court dates and contacting probation and parole departments.
Schnetzka offered all of these services to prisoners and their families in spite of not being a licensed attorney, according to Kane's press release.
According to Kane's office, Schnetzka and his company, in offering these services as a non-lawyer, "confused and misled consumers in violation of the Pennsylvania Unfair Trade Practices and Consumer Protection Law, and Unauthorized Practice of Law Statute," the press release stated.
The lawsuit will seek civil penalties, including $1,000 for each violation of the Consumer Protection Law and $3,000 for each violation involving a person 60 years old or older, according to the press release.
Schnetzka is currently being held on unrelated criminal charges at the State Correctional Institution at Rockview.
In March he pleaded guilty to misrepresenting himself in another manner. In this occurrence, he pretended to be an agent from the FBI to fraudulently acquire a Lexus from a Mechanicsburg dealership; he eventually returned the vehicle about a week later. He was sentenced to 18 months in a federal prison.
In December, Schnetzka also pleaded guilty to charges in three theft-related York County cases. He was sentenced to time served and five years of probation.
Consumers who have complaints involving Schnetzka or his company are encouraged to contact the Bureau of Consumer Protection at 800-441-2555.
Schnetzka could not be reached for immediate comment.
— Reach Jessica Schladebeck at firstname.lastname@example.org