Michigan man faces prison for impersonating U.S. attorney

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CHARLESTON, WV (WLNS) – A federal jury in West Virginia found a Michigan man guilty of impersonating a U.S. attorney, according to our media partners at MLive.

Joseph Ziegler, 55, was found guilty on two counts of impersonating a federal officer or employee. He now faces 3 years in prison when sentenced on Dec. 2.

According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Ziegler told Clay County Sheriff’s Office deputies and Clay County Prosecuting Attorney Jim Samples that he was a U.S. attorney on assignment by U.S. attorney Mike Stuart in an attempt to avoid an arrest or charge for driving under the influence in April.

Stuart is based in Charleston, West Virginia, less than an hour southwest of Clay County.

“Clearly not the type of person that could ever work for me. First – not smart. Second – an absolute fraudster. Finally – an absolute fake,” said United States Attorney Mike Stuart. “Impersonating a federal officer is a serious offense that we will prosecute every time. It can be potentially dangerous to the public and we will not tolerate it.”

Ziegler also told towing company employees that he was a federal prosecutor who would prosecute the towing company if the company did not return the vehicle Ziegler was driving, even though he had no proof of ownership.

Stuart thanked law enforcement and prosecutors in Clay County and the work of “the real assistant U.S. attorneys on assignment” Stefan Hasselblad and Monica Coleman.

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