Cops arrest man accused of posing as lawyer

A man accused of pretending to be a lawyer was arrested early Thursday, Atlanta police said. But his wife says he never claimed to give legal advice.

After receiving one of his business cards, an Atlanta couple hired an attorney to help with a child support matter. The couple even paid the man $5,275 before finding out Arkeith Tramell Nelson wasn’t who he claimed to be, police said.

Nelson, 38, isn't licensed to practice law in Georgia, according to State Bar of Georgia records, available online. But he pretended to be, promising to represent the clients in court and maintaining an office on Peachtree Street, according to Atlanta police. Nelson turned himself in early Thursday, and now police are hoping to find any other alleged victims.

Nelson’s wife, Valerie, told Channel 2 Action News that she and her husband run a child support help business, but do not give out legal advice. The business contract states that the company does not provide legal advice, Valerie Nelson said.

On Feb. 5, Virginia and Kerwin Davis contacted police after Arkeith Nelson said he’d be in court but didn’t show up, leading to arrest warrants being issued for Kerwin Davis, according to the police report. The couple wrote four checks to Arkeith Nelson totalling more than $5,000 for his services after he handed out business cards at a child welfare office, police said.

The Nelsons contend that those payments went toward the amount of money Kerwin Davis owes in back child support.

Arkeith Nelson was charged with four counts of theft by deception and one count of unauthorized practice of law, Fulton County jail records show. He remained in jail Thursday night and must pay $4,010 in cash on a prior charge in order to be released, a spokeswoman for the Fulton County Sheriff’s Office said. Details on the prior charge were not released.

Anyone information in the case is asked to contact investigators at 404-658-7055.