A judge called Students for Trump founder John Lambert a 'cold-blooded fraudster' for posing as a lawyer and scamming clients

A judge called Students for Trump founder John Lambert a 'cold-blooded fraudster' for posing as a lawyer and scamming clients
Students look on as US President Donald Trump speaks during the Turning Point USA Student Action Summit at the Palm Beach County Convention Center in West Palm Beach, Florida on December 21, 2019.Nicholas Kamm / AFP via Getty Images
  • Students for Trump co-founder John Lambert was sentenced to 13 months in prison.
  • He ran a scheme where he pretended to be a high-powered lawyer and took $46,000 from clients.
  • His attorney says he no longer supports Trump.

The founder of Students for Trump has been sentenced to 13 months in prison nearly two years after pleading guilty to posing as a lawyer and scamming clients out of $46,000.

At 25-year-old John Lambert's sentencing, the judge called him a "cold-blooded fraudster who cared not a whit about the victims of his fraud," according to the New York Daily News. Lambert, who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in 2019, had pretended to be Eric Pope, a fake Manhattan-based layer with a law degree from New York University, a finance degree from the University of Pennsylvania, and 15 years of experience.
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Victims hired Lambert for legal advice thinking he was Pope, and Lambert earned a total of $46,000 from the scheme, prosecutors said.

Judge Valerie E. Caproni blasted Lambert in his ruling, noting that he hasn't yet begun paying back victims.

"Mr. Lambert took his money and did nothing," Caproni said, according to the Daily News. "Mr. Lambert did not even have the common decency to make up an excuse and tell the victim to hire another attorney."
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Lambert ran the scheme from 2016 to 2018, when he was an undergraduate student based in North Carolina. At the sentencing Tuesday, he expressed regret, saying his life would be "forever marked by this poor choice at a young age."

Prosecutors said Lambert's plans involved establishing a web of fake websites, lawyer profiles, and phone numbers to craft the Eric Pope persona. He fooled several people and companies, purporting to help on mundane matters like fixing errors in credit reports and consulting on employee relations, according to prosecutors, while taking their money. Lambert was also a co-founder - along with Twitter personality Ryan Fournier - of the grassroots organization Students for Trump ahead of the 2016 presidential election. The Trump campaign distanced itself from it, though Fournier visited the White House in 2019 to complain about social media.
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In 2019, Students For Trump was folded into Turning Points USA, another pro-Trump organization that seeks to recruit college-aged students.

Lambert is now a full-time student himself, his attorney, Gary Peters, told the Daily News. Peter also said that Lambert no longer supports Trump.

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