If you meet 70-year-old John DuBiel on the street—or in a courtroom—you might have no idea he has a rap sheet as long as your arm. Since 1993, he has been in and out of prison for crimes from bogus checks, to con games, to forgery and other crimes.
But to at least two Muskogee residents, DuBiel allegedly was their attorney in Muskogee County District Court, though he doesn’t have a law license and has never passed the Bar exam.
“We started seeing him in court, and he didn’t do anything to raise any red flags,” District Attorney Orvil Loge said. “He would mostly just get cases passed. He never argued anything.”
But when DuBiel allegedly told a client that he was going to talk to the district attorney for them—and instead talked to former Assistant District Attorney Dan Medlock, who has been a private attorney for quite some time, one of Loge’s subordinates took notice and started an OSBI investigation that ended up showing DuBiel wasn’t an attorney at all.
Then, while he was in court to face charges of fraud for allegedly charging his “clients” for his attorney services, DuBiel was seen by prosecutors approaching inmates in court and trying to get them to hire him as their attorney.
“It’s not against the law to pretend to be a lawyer,” Loge said. “It is, however, against the law to take money from people while representing yourself as a lawyer.”
Dubiel is currently facing similar charges in Sequoyah County for allegedly taking $1,000 from a defendant there and faces two charges in Muskogee County of obtaining cash by false pretenses by representing himself as a criminal attorney and taking money from his clients.
“There may be other victims out there,” Loge said. “It’s really hard to know unless they come forward.
Through the years, DuBiel has been sentenced to more than 70 years in Oklahoma prisons, with many of those years spent on probation instead of in prison.