John Lambert, one of the co-founders behind Students for Trump, has been sentenced to more than a year behind bars for masquerading as a lawyer.
According to the New York Daily News, the 25-year-old was handed a 13-month prison sentence after posing as a lawyer named Eric Pope, who is based in Manhattan.
Lambert reportedly lied about graduating from New York University Law School and the University of Pennsylvania, where he claimed to have received a degree in finance, as well as having more than a decade of experience working in law.
Over the course of several years, he also managed to get actual clients searching for legal advice through Upwork. Between 2016 and 2018, he allegedly raked in more than $46,000 with the scheme.
In court, Lambert's attorney Gary Peters claimed he had been inspired by the fictional television show “Suits,” according to the Daily News.
The argument drew pushback from Judge Valerie Caproni, who handed down the prison sentence to Lambert, saying: “You cannot foist this off on being led astray by your co-defendant.”
The judge also reportedly pointed to Lambert’s actions after he helped co-found Students for Trump years back, which included speaking publicly to the media on multiple occasions.
“Those are actions of a leader, not a follower,” Caproni said describing Lambert as “a cold-blooded fraudster who cared not a whit about the victims of his fraud.”
Lambert founded Students for Trump in 2015 along with Ryan Fournier, who Peters reportedly said also had involvement in Lambert's criminal dealings.
The pro-Trump student organization drew attention during Trump's 2016 presidential campaign and was later acquired by Turning Point Action roughly two years ago.