Woman Accused of Pretending to be Lawyer in OC

Ellen Anise Rowland faces one misdemeanor charge and one felony charge in southern California.

An Elk Grove woman met with an Orange County inmate in March and pretended to be an attorney, according to the Orange County District Attorney's Office.

Ellen Anise Rowland, 56, was arraigned Wednesday morning in Orange County on a misdemeanor charge of unathorized practice of law and a felony count of drug possession, according to a press release.

When she met with the inmate on March 20, Rowland allegedly told deputies her name was Ellen Williams, and gave them a real state bar number belonging to another attorney.

She was meeting with the inmate and pretending to help with a child custody matter, Senior Deputy District Attorney Chris Duff said.

She also accepted $1,700 from the inmate's father, who thought he was paying for legal services, according to the district attorney's office. Authorities also allegedly found 11 Vicodin pills in her car, for which the district attorney's office says she did not have a prescription.

She was released Wednesday and is next scheduled to appear in court on Sept. 6, Duff said.

Rowland faces a maximum sentence of four years in prison.

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