Here is what College Republicans have spawned: John Lambert, co-founder of Students for Trump with Ryan Fournier, has been sentenced to 13 months in prison for impersonating a lawyer for the purpose of relieving people of their money.
More specifically, Lambert impersonated Eric Pope, a partner at the firm of Pope & Dunn. Pope specializes in corporate and patent law.
Lambert figured out that he could represent himself to potential clients as Eric Pope, take their money, and do absolutely nothing for it. He did all of this online, and when the feds got wind of it, he faced wire fraud charges for which he ultimately pled guilty.
According to the feds, Lambert raked in over $46,000 from advice he was unqualified to give, and in some cases, didn't even bother giving.
Judge Valerie Caproni was unimpressed with Lambert's baby face and scammy ways. She sentenced him to 13 months in prison, calling him a "a cold-blooded fraudster who cared not a whit about the victims of his fraud.”
Noting that one person had come to him with a credit problem for which he did nothing, Caproni said, “Mr. Lambert did not even have the common decency to make up an excuse and tell the victim to hire another attorney.”
Lambert had a taste for the high life, as fraudsters are wont to do. From a 2019 Politico profile:
Growing up in eastern Tennessee, Lambert enjoyed the trappings of a comfortable American childhood. According to friends, he was close with his mother and stepfather, and regularly accompanied his grandmother to church. His online biography frames his early life in terms that echo with country-club Republican decency. “At a young age his parents taught values of morality and deep fiscal responsibility to him,” according to the bio that was originally posted on the Students for Trump website. “He comes from a family of multigenerational business owners who helped to build the infrastructure of America.”
Lambert was also entrepreneurial. He started a social media management business while still in high school, and friends remember him voraciously watching the movie “The Wolf of Wall Street.” The 2013 flick dramatizes hard-charging investor Jordan Belfort’s rise from obscurity to riches. It ends with Belfort’s descent into infamy for masterminding a securities fraud scheme.
The film is a morality play—the lesson being that cheaters eventually get caught. But his indictment suggests that Lambert took it as an inspiration. Friends say he loved the lavish lifestyle that Belfort, played by Leonardo DiCaprio, achieved before going to prison. “It motivated him,” a friend of Lambert’s from that time said of the film.
When you hear scammers like Ted Cruz and Josh Hawley declare that the Republican Party is now the party of the working class, let this College Republican scammer's story echo. The pursuit of money wasn't enough for this guy, or his cohort Ryan Fournier, who is still active in his advocacy for Trump, even post-insurrection.
Ryan Fournier was revealed to have been Lambert's co-conspirator in the scam. Why isn't Ryan in jail? Because he flipped on Lambert and cooperated.
Meanwhile, all the little old Republican ladies give their Social Security money to the College Republicans and their successors like Turning Point USA. Because that's how the crime family raises up their next generation.