SALT LAKE CITY — A Utah woman accused of posing as a lawyer has been re-arrested and the number of charges she faces has tripled as state prosecutors take over a widening case.
Karla Carbo, 29, was arrested Friday on accusations she masqueraded as a lawyer in five different court hearings in November through December of last year, according to charging documents unsealed Monday.
Authorities say Carbo had a law office and advertised legal services online, even though she's never been licensed to practice in Utah. She represented five clients and charged them a total of $5,000 in criminal and divorce cases.
She's also accused of hiring a legitimate attorney, who assumed Carbo was legitimate, to work as an assistant.
Details about the victims aren't included in the charging documents but the case was investigated by a task force within the Utah Attorney General's Office that is dedicated to crimes within the Utah immigrant community. After Carbo's first arrest in December, Summit County Sheriff's Capt. Justin Martinez said her clients were mostly Hispanic immigrants.
Carbo used a real lawyer's name and bar license number to avoid scrutiny and be allowed in the courtrooms in Salt Lake, Summit and Tooele counties, authorities say.
In one case, she negotiated a plea deal to get a person facing a felony a reduced charge.
Carbo is a Salt Lake County jail on a $95,000 bond.
Carbo pleaded not guilty to the first set of charges after her December arrest. Her attorney, Michael Langford, says his client disputes the accusations.
Langford said he is still going through the new accusations but said based on his review of the first charges, no one should jump to conclusions.
Carbo was first arrested in December. Her actions came to light after the attorney whose name she was using got a summons from the city of Draper, where Carbo was representing a client. The other attorney doesn't practice criminal law.
Prosecutors say the scheme was designed to make money.
Carbo is scheduled to make a first court appearance on the new charges Wednesday in a state court in Salt Lake County.