Disbarred Attorney Arrested on Charges Related to Using False Identity to Obtain Jobs at Law Firms

Oct 27, 2023

From the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Southern District of Ohio

CINCINNATI – A disbarred attorney who previously practiced law in the Cincinnati area was arrested today by federal agents for allegedly using a false identity to obtain employment with at least three law firms.

Richard Louis Crosby III, 36, of Mason, Ohio, is charged by criminal complaint with wire fraud, Social Security number fraud and aggravated identity theft.

According to an affidavit filed in support of the criminal complaint, the Cincinnati Bar Association filed a complaint against Crosby in November 2020. In April 2021, he indicated his intent to resign from the practice of law.

In both June and November 2021, Crosby was indicted and charged in Hamilton County with crimes related to stealing client funds. After his indictments, the U.S. District Court for the Southern District of Ohio entered an order disbarring Crosby.

In May 2022, Crosby was arrested in both of his Hamilton County cases. He was sentenced to probation in both cases in June 2023.

According to the federal charging document filed on Oct. 24, while Crosby’s local cases were pending, he created an email account using “richardcwilliamsesq.” Crosby used the email address and the alias Richard Williams to communicate with a law firm in Washington D.C. in June 2021. The firm briefly employed Williams.

In September 2022 – at which point Crosby had been disbarred in Ohio and arrested on the Hamilton County charges – Crosby used his alias to apply for an attorney position with a law firm based in Miami, Florida. Crosby met with a recruiter via Zoom, and represented himself as Richard Williams, a licensed attorney admitted to the bar in New York and D.C.

It is alleged Crosby then met with one of the firm’s hiring managers in Florida and was ultimately offered employment in October 2022. His starting salary was $185,000 per year with a $5,000 signing bonus. Crosby allegedly used another individual’s Social Security number, passport number and banking information to complete his onboarding paperwork at the law firm.

In April 2023, the firm received an inquiry from an investigator with the Clermont County Child Support Enforcement Office, making the firm aware of Crosby’s true identity. He was subsequently fired.

In July 2023, Crosby again used the alias to attempt to obtain employment. He allegedly interviewed over Zoom with senior management of a law firm located in Coral Gables, Florida. It is alleged that Crosby doctored a “screen shot” of the name Richard Coleman Williams Jr. in the online D.C. bar membership directory to attach with his resume.

The firm offered Crosby a starting salary of $195,000 per year with a $10,000 signing bonus, but eventually determined Crosby was using a false identity and did not hire him.

Crosby was arrested this  morning in Mason and will make his initial appearance in federal court in Cincinnati at 1:30pm.

Kenneth L. Parker, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio announced the charges. The case is being investigated by the Social Security Administration, Office of Inspector General, with assistance from the Hamilton County Prosecutor’s Office, Clermont County Department of Job and Family Services, United States Marshals Service, and Diplomatic Security Service. Special Assistant United States Attorney Timothy Landry is representing the United States in this case.

A criminal complaint merely contains allegations, and defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty in a court of law.

If you have information related to this alleged conduct, please contact the Social Security OIG tip line at 1-800-269-0271.

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