A bankruptcy attorney was sentenced to six months in prison and two years of probation after he admitted to forging a judge's signature and falsifying other documents. John Peter Eleazarian, 55, apologized in federal court in Fresno Friday, saying he was ashamed and guilty for misleading his clients. The case involved an August 2005 court order stating that his client's car had been improperly taken and that she was entitled to $20,000 in sanctions.
But the order and its signature from a federal bankruptcy judge were forged by Eleazarian. The client had hired the Fresno attorney to handle her bankruptcy and the improper repossession of her vehicle.
"What is more serious than forging the signature of a judge?" U.S. District Judge Oliver Wanger asked in handing down the sentence.
Prosecutors said Eleazarian submitted other false documents in other proceedings, including the forged signature of a Fresno County Superior Court judge, but he was not charged for those crimes.