Porn Copyright Attorney Kenneth Ford accepts plea offer, agrees to enter guilty plea to counts pending against him in Berkeley County Circuit Court

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from www.herald-mail.com – A Baltimore attorney accused of failing to provide legal services to clients after they paid him formally agreed Tuesday to plead guilty to all counts pending against him in Berkeley County Circuit Court.

Kenneth J. Ford, 37, of 8 Charles Plaza, Apt. 1502, was indicted in May on five felony counts of obtaining money by false pretenses, one count of forgery of a public record and one count of uttering a public record.

The proposed plea agreement also includes five additional charges that were not part of the indictment, but are included for restitution purposes, Berkeley County Prosecuting Attorney Pamela Games-Neely said Tuesday.

A plea and sentencing hearing for the case was scheduled for Nov. 14 by 23rd Judicial Circuit Judge Gray Silver III, who received the proposed agreement for consideration Tuesday after Ford signed a letter in court accepting the state’s plea offer.

In exchange for his guilty pleas, the state is expected to recommend that Ford be placed on probation for five years instead of being ordered to serve a prison sentence.

Under the terms of the plea agreement, Ford would face a maximum three- to 20-year prison sentence because multiple prison sentences would be served at the same time.

Ford also is expected to pay restitution to the victims of the crimes, and two victims in particular would have to be paid in order for the state to forgo prosecuting Ford on additional criminal fraud charges that have not already been filed, according to the agreement.

If the judge decides that Ford should serve a period of incarceration, the state would recommend that he be ordered to serve no more than four months in jail, according to the plea agreement letter, which was signed by Berkeley County Assistant Prosecuting Attorney Gregory K. Jones.

Jones indicated the state’s recommended disposition of the case was based on the defendant’s lack of criminal history and acceptance of responsibility.

Ford’s indictment came less than two months after his license to practice law in West Virginia was annulled by the state Supreme Court of Appeals.

The felony charges surfaced in January, when Ford was arraigned in Berkeley County Magistrate Court on allegations that he forged a court order after being paid by former West Virginia University basketball standout Kevin Pittsnogle for legal services that were not provided.

West Virginia State Police filed additional charges subsequent to that case involving other clients who retained Ford, but did not receive services.

The state high court’s order to annul Ford’s license came at the recommendation of the hearing panel subcommittee of the Lawyer Disciplinary Board, according to court records.

In addition to recommending the license annulment, the disciplinary board stipulated that Ford’s law practice be supervised for two years and that he be required to complete 12 hours of continuing legal education in ethics if his license ever was reinstated, according to the order.

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