Police: Augusta man attempted to practice law without a license

Nov. 10 – EAU CLAIRE – An Augusta man collected money from another man after posing as a lawyer, police say.

The other man demanded and got his money back, police said.

Ryan A. Larsen, 35, 425 Colfax St., was charged this week in Eau Claire County Court with one count of jumping bail and one count of misdemeanor to practice law without a licence.

A $1,000 signing bond was set for Larsen, which prohibits him from having contact with the other man and from practicing law without a license.

Larsen returns to court on Tuesday.

According to the criminal complaint:

An Altoona police officer met with the other man on Tuesday after saying he was scammed out of $250 by Larsen, who offered to handle a probate case for him.

The other man said he posted an ad on Craigslist for “help with probate.” Larsen contacted the other man by phone and said he would help.

Larsen told the other man that he had been practicing law for several years. The other man met Larsen at the Happy Hollow Tavern in Altoona and gave him a $250 deposit.

The other man became a suspect after Larsen changed his alleged law background and said he had been practicing law since 2019, which was different from what he previously said.

Larsen then left. The other man then decided to get his money back. The other man followed Larsen in his vehicle and demanded his money.

Larsen returned his money to the other man and insulted him. Larsen told him twice that he was a lawyer.

The police officer then met Larsen, who admitted to being at the Happy Hollow Tavern to meet the other man.

Larsen said he never told the other man he was a lawyer. He said he told the other man he was a paralegal and had passed the Wisconsin bar exam. Larsen could not provide evidence. The officer found no evidence that Larsen was licensed to practice law in Wisconsin.

At the time of this incident, Larsen was free on a signing bond for an ongoing felony case in Eau Claire County. As a condition of bail, Larsen was barred from committing any further crimes.

If convicted on the felony charge in the new case, Larsen could face up to three years in prison.

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