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KINGMAN – Trial has opened for a Lake Havasu City man accused of stealing money from clients and clogging the local court system with "junk" filings and pleadings. Leighton Ward, 42, faces 19 felony and misdemeanor counts including fraud, forgery and theft.

 

Prosecutor James Schoppmann told the jury Tuesday that Ward accepted $3,500 from one family while promising he could make their mortgage disappear. He said he preyed upon their hope that he could resolve their financial burden.

Schoppmann said Ward's Advocacy for Consumer Rights business was a total sham as was his claim of serving as clerk of a non-existent federal postal court. He said Ward applied numerically laden syntax in an attempt to obliterate property deeds and debt.

Schoppmann said Ward flooded courts with forged and falsified documents. He told the jury that Ward's victims include Jill Davis, the Lake Havasu City Justice of Peace whose oath of office was altered and changed in a fraudulent manner.

Defense attorney Jacobo Chavez countered that Ward harbored no criminal intent in his actions and that the state would not be able to meet necessary burden of proof for guilty verdicts.

Mohave County Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert is presiding.

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