POUGHKEEPSIE, N.Y. (Legal Newsline) - New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced a settlement on Wednesday with a Fishkill pastor who allegedly practiced law without a license.
Edward Benson, the pastor of The New Vision Church of Deliverance, allegedly provided a former congregant with legal services without being licensed to do so. Attorneys must be licensed in the state of New York by the New York State Unified Court System's Office of Court Administration.
"Practicing law without a license is unacceptable in New York," Schneiderman said. "It denies unsuspecting consumers the basic right to be represented by a lawyer - a professional in good standing who knows the law and who knows how to protect the legal rights of their clients."
Dutchess County Supreme Court Justice Christine Sproat issued the permanent injunction and judgment against Benson on Tuesday.
Under the terms of the agreement, Benson will pay the former congregant $5,500, the fees he allegedly charged her for legal services between 2011 and 2013. Benson also agreed to pay a $500 fine and consented to a permanent injunction barring him from holding himself out as an attorney able to practice law in the state of New York.
Benson will pay the $6,000 settlement in three equal monthly installments starting this month.