Monday, September 22, 2014

Lawyer faces disciplinary action over phony celebrity pics

Not many people get the chance to mingle with celebrities like Barack Obama, Bill Clinton and George Clooney.

Los Angeles attorney Svitlana Sangary doesn't either so she did the next best thing - superimposing images of herself into numerous celebrity photographs posted on her website's "publicity" page.

A judge was unimpressed with her antics and Sangary could now have her law license suspended after a state bar investigation.

In an 18-page decision, Judge Donald Miles recommended she be suspended for six months and remain on probation for another 2-1/2 years for deceptive advertising and misconduct stemming from an investigation of the photos.

"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 Miles wrote in his opinion.

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 has denied the allegations.

Sangary declined to comment on the ruling but suggested she was in a position to pose for pictures with prominent people through her political and philanthropic connections.

"Nothing in my life is more valuable to me than realisation of the fact that I was able to come all the way from being an impoverished kid in Ukraine to a major political and charitable donor in California, and able to socialise and take pictures with the people I've always admired," she said.

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