Action 16 Follow Up: Lawyer Arrested, Charged with Forging Judge’s Signature

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A recent Action 16 Investigation focused on a man from Northumberland County and his former lawyer, who told him he was awarded $250,000 legal settlement.

But the man never got any money.

And now that lawyer Stephen Ellwood of Schuylkill County is charged with forgery.

It's some comfort Bob Bechtel of Locust Gap, who claims he was ripped off by Ellwood.

"I`m not going to see my justice, and I`m not going to see a dime," said Bechtel March 10th.  "I bet my bottom dollar, I`m not going to see a dime."

Bechtel may still not see a dime, but he might get justice,

Ellwood was arrested.

Bechtel hired Ellwood in 2010 to sue his landlord for a neck injury he got at his former home in Kulpmont.

Stephen Ellwood is accused of making up a bogus document, that claimed a Northumberland County Judge Charles Saylor, signed off on that $250,000 settlement for Bechtel.

But the document was fake.

And court papers show Ellwood admitted to a grand jury, he forged the judge's signature.

Stephen Ellwood is due in court next week.

The forgery charge is a felony, and could also cost him his license to practice law.


  • the dutchman

    Great investigative work Dave, a 10 year old could have figured this one out!!! How about going after the real crooks down at our local real estate tax collectors offices.

  • EJ Perth

    Besides forgery, Ellwood should be charged with identity theft.
    I see it happen so often when someone has their law license revoked for misconduct, that person’s career in law is not really over. Often these people work as family law consultants, expert speakers, advocates or go into areas with little or no regulation. I think the best way to deter this, and protect the public, is strong penalties.

  • Endgovtsubsidies

    Just listen to the Big and Rich song that goes everyone’s always trying to get filthy rich off someone else’s money and it fits this case perfect. If you haven’t heard it go to

  • CommonSense

    I’m willing to bet money the victim himself is a sue happy sleazoid social security disability scamming no good non working scum. Do you want to bet money on it?

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