Family lawyer pleads guilty to falsifying birth certificate
Family lawyer William M. Schabas, 44, of Sacramento, California, pleaded guilty Tuesday to making false statements about his status as a permanent guardian and to forging birth certificates in connection with his legal practice.
Schabas admitted to making the false statements while attempting to obtain a temporary guardianship for his then-six-month-old son, William, who was born in 2013, and his other children.
The child died in October of 2014.
The case came to light after a Sacramento newspaper published a story that the child’s mother had obtained a temporary court order to have William placed in a hospital, but it did not mention that the court order was not issued under Schabascourt’s name.
Schaba had been a practicing family lawyer for more than a decade, serving on the county’s family law board and the San Francisco District Attorney’s Office, the Los Angeles Times reported.
Schabis has also represented clients including the son’s father, who has been convicted of sexually assaulting two of his daughters and is serving a 30-year sentence in federal prison.
According to the Times, the California Department of Health Care Services confirmed to the newspaper that Schabasa had filed a formal complaint with the state about the falsification of birth certificates.
A spokeswoman for the agency did not immediately return a request for comment on Schabasi’s plea.
The Sacramento Bee, however, noted that Schaba was not charged with any wrongdoing and said he had a valid court order.
California has a three-year statute of limitations on civil suits against guardians.