Paralegal accused of forging Pasco judge’s name on adoption papers

 — A Citrus County paralegal faces criminal charges after he was accused of forging a judge’s name on adoption papers after a couple retained him to help them file a joint petition for step-parent adoption, the Pasco County Sheriff’s Office reported.
The husband and wife thought they actually had hired the attorney the paralegal worked for, but the attorney knew nothing of the case and her signature also was forged, the sheriff’s office reported.
The paralegal, Mark A. Scott, 45, of Holder, was arrested Tuesday on a charge of uttering forged instruments and was booked into the Land O’ Lakes Jail. He later was released on $2,000 bond.
A sheriff’s detective began investigating after the Pasco County Clerk’s Office reported that the couple submitted documents to the clerk’s office bearing a forged stamp for Circuit Judge Daniel Diskey, an arrest report said.
The forged stamp was on the final judgment of a step-parent adoption, but the document was never filed with the court and Diskey did not approve the final judgment, the report said.
The attorney Scott was working for at the time, Susan Wilkerson, did not know that Scott had taken on the case, the report said. The couple never met Wilkerson, but had assumed she was overseeing their case, the report said.
Wilkerson’s signature also was forged on the papers, the report said.
While he was handling the case, Scott left Wilkerson’s firm and began working for Ocala attorney Todd Hopson. The couple said Scott told them Hopson was now overseeing their case, and his business information appears on some of the later documents, but Hopson told the detective he also had no knowledge of the case, the report said.

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