Megan Moeller (aka Megan Perry) was arraigned yesterday, August 13, 2020, in U.S. District Court in Portland, Oregon, on one charge of aggravated identity theft allegedly committed “during and in relation to a felony violation” of wire fraud. Moeller, an attorney formerly licensed in Oregon and Washington, entered a plea of “not guilty.” A five day trial is now set for mid-October of this year.
Moeller requested, and was appointed, a federal public defender at no cost, despite having retained a private attorney in the state criminal case against her. Ironically, her husband, Erik J.D. Moeller, is a state public defender¹ with a lucrative contract at Oregon’s Office of Public Defense Services.
The state’s case against his wife was proceeding slowly: despite four hearings in the matter, over the course of eight months, she had still not entered a plea or uttered one word, not even her own name.
The state allowed Moeller a release agreement without posting bail or security, and permitted her to travel to Hawaii and Washington for family events. At her most recent appearance, on July 27, the agreement was expanded so that she could travel through Idaho to Montana to visit a critically ill relative.
All of this happened notwithstanding the fact that the state’s prosecutor, District Attorney Bradley Berry, recently indicated that the U.S. Attorney’s Office was filing a “criminal complaint which would allege a greater criminal scheme” than they had previously indicated in their earlier information against Moeller.
Moeller presumably was granted such favorable release conditions because she was no longer licensed² to practice law, i.e. she was not considered a current threat to exercise her signature blend of “legal services.” Also, there was no bail or detention because Moeller had no prior criminal record.
However, Moeller only “practiced law” for four brief years, during which time staff at the Oregon State Bar appears to have run interference on clients’ efforts to report her conduct to the appropriate authorities — a service that the bar seems to have provided to other licensees.
In fact, there was barely a time during the four years in which she was licensed that Moeller was not the subject of a professional complaint.
In other words, Megan Moeller’s entire career was a prior record.
¹ Erik Moeller appears in front of the very judges that Megan Moeller is now appearing in front of in her criminal case, including one, Judge David Delsman, whose signature she is alleged to have forged. It is easy to see how Mr. Moeller’s indigent clients could be prejudiced by his marriage to a state- and federally-indicted identity thief.
² Megan Moeller designated her husband as the recipient of her client files when she resigned her law license, and he presumably still has those files. Clients, who wish to remain anonymous, have stated that they are having a difficult time retrieving their files — which is their property — from Mr. Moeller.