Pilchesky Charged

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SCRANTON -- Investigators with the state Attorney General's Office have charged Joe Pilchesky of Scranton with practicing law without a license. Pilchesky is well-known in the area as a political activist.

According to state investigators, Pilchesky's estranged wife is the one who turned him in, with a letter she wrote back in April of 2012 to the Lackawanna County District Attorney.

Investigators said Joanne Pilchesky detailed how Joe Pilchesky was allegedly scamming people.

According to the state Attorney General`s Office, Pilchesky was practicing law without a license, taking money from people to prepare documents in zoning appeal, child custody and other cases.

Investigators said those documents were filed in Luzerne County and Lackawanna County.

According to court papers, Pilchesky filed documents on behalf of a Pentecostal Church in Scranton and for a former resident of what was then called Green Ridge Assisted Living Facility in Lackawanna County.

According to emails, investigators said Pilchesky told one person he charged $300 an hour.

Pilchesky was not available for an on-camera interview but did speak to Newswatch 16 by phone.

"I have helped people who were in some struggles. They were desperate so I helped them," said Pilchesky.

Pilchesky also said he started helping people who asked for legal help about 10 years ago, but "I never told anybody I was an attorney. "

"If it's a crime to help the poor, disabled, or people in crisis, then I did it," said Pilchesky.