Charged with illegally practicing law, Miami man says he’s ‘Rosa Parks’ of mentally ill

·3 min read

Online, Ian Anthony Medina has boasted of his legal skills — graduating Emory Law school, working with high-level prosecutors and gaining valuable “legal experience” in Florida. He even posted a photo of his Florida bar card.

But prosecutors say Medina is no lawyer, the Bar card was phony and he ripped off clients who thought he was licensed. After one woman complained to the Bar, Medina allegedly sent a threatening text.

“You will die today, b--ch,” he wrote, according to an arrest warrant. “Love, your attorney.”

Medina, 28, of Miami Lakes, was arrested last weekend and charged with practicing law without a license, organized scheme to defraud, grand theft and making false statements, all felonies. He has since posted bond and left jail.

Reached Monday, Medina — who says he will represent himself — admitted practicing law but said he’d been wrongfully denied his license under the Americans with Disabilities Act because he suffers from schizophrenia and bipolar disorder.

“It doesn’t interfere with my practice of law at all,” he said. “I’m competent. I’m qualified. I graduated.”

Medina said he plans on filing a civil lawsuit to get the criminal charges dismissed.

He said he sees himself as an “activist” for people suffering from mental illnesses. He also claims that for years, he’s heard the “voice of God saying I’m the second Jesus Christ and the messiah” and compares himself to civil rights icon Rosa Parks.

“She sat on a bus even though it was illegal under the law,” he said. “I stood firm and practiced law.”

The Miami-Dade State Attorney’s Office began its investigation into Medina after clients began complaining to the Florida Bar.

The Bar reported that the bogus lawyer had posted the phony Bar card, which used a license number of another attorney who did not know Medina, the warrant said.

One man also told authorities that he’d reached out to several attorneys to handle a personal injury claim, but none took the case. In May, out of the blue, Medina called in May to say he could take the case. The man wound up sending him $3,500, but then Medina did no work and “stopped all communication,” State Attorney Investigator Bob Fielder wrote in his arrest arrant.

Another client told Fielder she found Medina on a website called “Request Legal Help,” and paid him $500 for help with an “elder law matter.” She reported him to the Bar, and he later sent the threatening text, the warrant said.

Medina told the Herald he did nothing wrong.

“They didn’t pay me in full so I didn’t have to perform the work in full,” Medina said.

The Medina family has been in the news before. His half-brother, Derek Medina, made worldwide news in 2013 when he killed his wife inside their South Miami home and immediately posted a photo of her body on Facebook. He was later convicted and sentenced to life in prison.

Ian Medina, in a series of rants on LinkedIn about lawsuits he’s filed, has repeatedly mentioned that is a sibling of the “Facebook murderer.”

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