Clifton Heights man with unauthorized law license stole from client, arrested for theft and possessing child porn
Media, Pa – Today District Attorney Jack Whelan announced former attorney Brendan Magee, 39, of Clifton Heights, is in prison facing charges for possessing child pornography, the sexual abuse of children, and criminal use of communication facility, all felonies of the third degree. Additionally, Magee is charged with the unauthorized practice of law and theft by deception for practicing without a valid Pennsylvania law license and stealing from a client.
An investigation was launched by Det. Sgt. Kenneth Bellis of the District Attorney’s Delaware County Criminal Investigation (CID) and PA Internet Crime Against Children (ICAC) Task Force, as the result of information received from the National Center for Missing and Exploited Children (NCMEC), that an individual using Google had uploaded images of suspected child pornography to his account. On June 14, CID Det. Sgt. Bellis, county detectives and officers with the Clifton Heights Police Department executed a search warrant at 507 S. Church Street, the primary residence of Brendan Magee, to search for evidence relating to the child pornography investigation.
Brendan Magee, who was home at the time of the search, initially agreed to speak with detectives. When asked about his Gmail account, he claimed that his account had been hacked and shut down. He denied ever viewing child pornography and advised that he did not currently have a computer. When questioned further, he became uncooperative and stated he did not want to continue speaking with detectives.
During the search, a number of pieces of digital equipment were confiscated from the property including a laptop and several electronic devices. CID Analyst Brian Knowlton and Det. Christopher Tankelewicz conducted a forensic examination which uncovered more than 50 photos and one video of child pornography. CID Detective Kenneth Bellis of the PA Internet Crimes Against Children (ICAC) Task Force determined the images depicted children under 18-years old engaging in sexual acts and/or poses in violation of the Pennsylvania Crimes Code.
In a separate investigation, also conducted by Det. Sgt. Bellis, it was determined that Brendan Magee had been practicing law without being a licensed attorney in the state of Pennsylvania. Through the course of that investigation it was determined that his law license had been suspended by the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania in December 2016, after he failed to disclose that he did not have a valid Pennsylvania law license and had used another attorney’s registration number while representing a client in February 2014. Further investigation determined he failed to provide services in a child-custody case in December 2014 and unlawfully took payment.
"Individuals who search out and view child pornography contribute to the appalling exploitation of innocent children,” said District Attorney Jack Whelan. “Our ICAC Task Force is actively working to locate and arrest these individuals. I would like to commend Det. Sgt. Ken Bellis, the Clifton Heights Police Department and the ICAC Task Force for their continued work to find and apprehend these perpetrators. “As an attorney, Brendan Magee fraudulently represented himself, showing extreme contempt for the law and a complete disregard for the lawyer licensing process.”
Delaware County investigators believe Brendan Magee may have victimized others. Anyone with information is urged to call Det. Sgt. Bellis at 610-891-4717.
All licensed attorneys in Pennsylvania are registered on the Disciplinary Board of the Supreme Court of Pennsylvania. If residents have any questions or concerns regarding an attorney, they are encouraged to look up that attorney by accessing the website at www.padisciplinaryboard.org.
Brendan Magee was arraigned by Magisterial District Judge Christopher R. Mattox on August 25, who set bail at ten percent of $350,000 for both crimes. Magee was remanded to the George W. Hill Correctional Facility after he failed to post bail. The preliminary hearing is scheduled for September 7.