Yesterday, November 14, 2019, Megan M. Perry, formerly of the Albany, Oregon law firm of Perry & Moeller,¹ was arrested on three counts of identity theft, a class C felony. The charges related to fraudulent documents she allegedly created in an interstate civil case. This came as a shock to zero people following Perry’s “career” trajectory.
To put it succinctly: during the brief four years that she was an attorney, Perry had a compulsive habit of taking money and doing little in return except pumping clients and opponents and courthouses and government agencies full of her particular brand of Grade C bullshit.
In the custody case that the charges stemmed from, in just a few months, Perry had single-handedly dismantled the “decent co-parenting relationship” that her clients had enjoyed for years, by making the repeated claim that she had served the opponent both by mail and process server. In fact, she had not.
But her unequivocal insistence that it was true — and the opponent’s unequivocal insistence that it wasn’t — put the clients in a very difficult situation. Their case wasn’t progressing and their precious parenting time was at stake, but they couldn’t just cut and run.
Finally, after a year was lost due to Perry’s increasingly fantastical tales and inability to come clean, the clients calmly and politely asked to see any actual evidence that their opponent had been served.
Perry reluctantly handed over her “evidence:” a US Mail return receipt ‘signed’ by the opponent; and a proof of service ‘signed’ by both a process server and a notary public of Broward County, Florida.
The clients submitted these papers to the Oregon State Bar (OSB) as part of their professional complaint against Perry.
Months later, the inauthenticity of the documents was definitively shown² with just a map and a phone call: neither the notary nor the process server were licensed to work in the county that the documents purported to be from; it would have been a seven-hour round trip car ride for them to have completed the job; and they could have lost their licenses for doing so.
Within weeks of this revelation, Megan M. Perry resigned her law license. By that time, there were seventeen open cases at the Oregon State Bar, and most were startlingly similar.
The OSB had a mandatory duty, in this case and others, to report Perry’s clearly criminal conduct to law enforcement, but refused to do so; and over the last year and a half, instead of protecting the public, the OSB may have even interfered with victims’ own attempts to report Perry to law enforcement.³
After she resigned, Perry’s victims were on their own, essentially abandoned by Oregon. There was no oversight, no point person, no investigation, no intervention… no help period. The victims alone were left in charge of remediating the damage that Perry’s criminal conduct had caused. Worse, they were forced to do so within their own underlying civil matters — almost entirely family cases — in courthouses that had been poisoned by her antics. Even those who had money for a new lawyer couldn’t find one, as few were interested in going after Perry for malpractice or going up against the OSB’s done deal.
Perry was not arrested or even investigated for a long time… until Linn County Sheriff’s Office got involved in the matter. They apparently didn’t agree with the Oregon State Bar that Megan Perry’s resignation was an appropriate punishment for forgery or identity theft.
Now things are unfolding more rapidly. Since Perry’s alleged criminal career was not limited to a single case in a single county courthouse against a single attorney, it will unfold in several directions: there are more forgeries; more fraudulent court papers; and many, many more ruined families — some of whom were of modest means.
It’s important to remember that she didn’t do all of this alone. Anyone who ever made a deal, big or small, with serial fraudster Megan M. Perry — say a bribed court official or an OSB investigator⁴ caving to politics — should be very, very concerned. Not only did they likely get the bullshit end of the stick at the time, but now Perry is under arrest and likely proffering up some of her Grade A reserve to save herself.
And Megan Perry is exactly the type of person that would say literally anything to save herself… maybe even the truth.
¹ Erik JD Moeller, the husband and former partner of Megan Perry, is a state-paid public defender in Linn County.
² Definitively shown to be fraudulent by me. I am modest which is why this is a footnote.
³ The OSB also refuses to be transparent about their failures, or why they ignored other criminal tips about Perry in real time.
⁴ Why would the Oregon State Bar give Megan Perry such gentle and shielding treatment? Perry was a member of the influential Oregon Women Lawyers (OWLS) and was represented in her OSB matters by the equally influential firm Holland & Knight. It may have been as simple as politics of that kind, which of course is repugnant to the public, but expected — after all, the OSB provided even cushier treatment for an allegedly even bigger crime spree, Lori Deveny. Or maybe the reasons behind the OSB’s overwhelming failures in Perry’s case may have to do with something even darker, such as extortion or bribery.