L.A. attorney accused of altering pictures of herself with celebrities defends her actions, sort of

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LOS ANGELES — A California lawyer facing license suspension for alleged deceptive advertising by Photoshopping herself into cozy pictures with politicians and celebrities on her official website, is speaking out because she says people are throwing dirt at her just to see what sticks.

The California State Bar Court is recommending Svitlana Sangary be suspended from practicing law for six months, after an investigation showed her website featured fake publicity photos of her next to President Barack Obama, former President Bill Clinton, Hillary Clinton, Arnold Schwarzenegger, George Clooney, Kim Kardashian, Ellen DeGeneres and others.

The state bar court found Sangary faked many or all of the photos by taking original celebrity pictures and then overlaying her own image.

misc picsThe ruling said because the “photographs were part of an advertisement and solicitation for future work … they were false, deceptive, and intended to confuse, deceive and mislead the public.”

After the charges were leveled against her, Sangary released a 16-page explanation that critics said offered little information that related to her defense. The long written soliloquy explained how she “came to this country in her twenties, with nothing, and married another immigrant, who also had nothing. ” It described how “Sangary’s American dream has come true as she has been able to achieve a point wherein now, in her thirties, Sangary is a prominent donor and philanthropist.”

The written letter concluded with: “Please take a look at all my pictures, consult any computer guru if you like, and decide for yourself whether these pictures are real, authentic or Photoshopped.”

FOX 4 sister station KTLA did just that, taking the photos to an editing expert to analyze. They also talked to Sangary, asking her point-blank if she Photoshopped the pictures. She repeatedly answered that the pictures would speak for themselves.

“I’m going to have to say, I asked you twenty times if they were Photoshopped and you wouldn’t give me a straight answer,” said Christina Pasucci,  KTLA’s reporter who talked to Sangary.

Sangary told Pasucci that she posted the pictures to her professional website to “inspire people”.

The California Bar Association says Sangary’s suspension does not go into effect until approved by the California Supreme Court and is recommending two-and-a-half years of probation after the six-month suspension.

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