California lawyer faces suspension for phony celebrity photo-ops

Sep 21, 2014, 08:09 IST | Agencies

The photographs show the accused, Svitlana Sangary, posing with various political figures or celebrities

Los Angeles: A state bar investigation has revealed that a Los Angeles attorney superimposed images of herself into numerous celebrity photographs posted on her website’s “publicity” page.

In an 18-page decision, a state bar court judge ordered Svitlana Sangary be suspended for six months and remain on probation for another two-and-a-half years for deceptive advertising and misconduct that has stemmed from an investigation of the photos.

Each of the photographs in question shows Sangary posing with various political figures or celebrities such as President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, and actors George Clooney, Leonardo DiCaprio and
Anne Hathaway.

“This court finds that many, and perhaps all, of these photos were created by taking original celebrity photos and then overlaying respondent’s image in order to make it appear as though (she) was in the presence of that celebrity,” Judge Donald Miles wrote.

He said the photos, posted beginning in December 2012, “were part of an advertisement and solicitation for future work and they were false, deceptive and intended to confuse, deceive and mislead the public.” Sangary however has denied the allegations.

Although the link to the publicity page appears to have been removed, some photos could still be accessed on the Internet until Friday.

The ruling, issued this month, is ultimately subject to review by the State Supreme Court, which imposes such discipline.

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