Bogus lawyer Giovanni Di Stefano convicted
Giovanni Di Stefano has today been convicted at Southwark Crown Court of 25 counts including deception, fraud, money laundering and using a false instrument committed between 2004 and 2012.
Hilary Ryan, from the CPS' Organised Crime Division, said: "For many years, Giovanni Di Stefano described himself to potential clients as a lawyer and usually as an Italian 'avvocato'. He was nothing of the sort.
"When the law caught up with him, he falsely claimed to have obtained various formal, legal qualifications. He then went on to claim that having taught himself the law, he was entitled to describe himself as a lawyer. This was fraud by anyone's standards and a charade that he kept up for over eight years in order to line his own pockets.
"People rightly expect the utmost integrity from those in the legal profession. Giovanni Di Stefano routinely tricked his clients and abused their trust. Those who seek to behave in such a cynical way should take note of this conviction today."