Former Blair County Attorney Charged for Fabricating Custody Order to Benefit Client

June 8, 2023 | Topic: Criminal

HARRISBURG—Attorney General Michelle Henry announced that charges have been filed against a Blair County attorney who forged documents, to his client’s benefit, in a custody case.

Michael B. Cohen, 39, of Hollidaysburg, allegedly created a false custody order which prompted his client to break the existing custody agreement terms by moving her child out of the county.

Cohen was charged Thursday with two felony counts of forgery, two misdemeanor counts of tampering, and one misdemeanor count of obstruction of justice.

His bail was set to $75,000 unsecured.

“As a family law attorney and an officer of the court, Mr. Cohen knew better than anyone the seriousness of custody orders and the critical role of attorneys who practice in that field,” said Attorney General Henry. “Through his actions Mr. Cohen not only violated the duty he owed his client, but also the court of law.”

The client paid Cohen $10,000 to represent her in the custody matter.

In December 2022, after creating the custody order, Cohen sent his client a photo of that fraudulent order which contained significantly different terms for custody arrangements.

The child’s father contacted police when the mother did not meet a scheduled custody exchange. Cohen sent a letter to the judge admitting that the client’s actions were due to his advice based on the order he created.

This case is being prosecuted by Deputy Attorney General Kara Rice. All charges are allegations. The defendant is innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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