The Merced County Sheriff's Department has arrested a Fresno man on allegations he had been misrepresenting himself as a lawyer in the Merced County region.

The sheriff's department first developed information on Nov. 10 that Richard Gilpatrick was passing himself off as a lawyer at the Merced County Superior Courthouse.

Gilpatrick presented the Court a California Bar Card and after researching the card’s number, deputies determined that it was assigned to an attorney who is deceased.  After several days of investigation, detectives determined that Gilpatrick did not have a valid license to practice law in California and investigators identified multiple victims who had gone to Gilpatrick for attorney services. 

On Nov. 17, sheriff's office investigators located Gilpatrick in the Fresno area and arrested him for practicing law without a license, petty theft with priors, forgery, and theft by false pretenses.  After being transported back from Fresno County, Gilpatrick was booked into the Merced County Jail.

Gilpatrick also goes by the alias of Richard Richardson or Richy Richardson. 

The sheriff’s office believes that there may be additional victims in the area and they are asking anyone with information regarding Gilpatrick’s law practice to call the Merced County Sheriff’s Office Investigations Bureau at (209)385-7472.