Ex-Local Lawyer Faces Theft Charges

Steve Liss Previously Exposed By 10News I-Team For Various Schemes

A local man who has faced past legal problems was in court again Wednesday to answer to theft charges, the 10News I-Team reported.

In the past, the I-Team exposed former attorney Steve Liss' scheme to steal money from clients at his La Jolla law practice. On Wednesday, he was forced to stand in a courtroom as a defendant for his role in an apartment rental scheme the I-Team exposed in May.

I-Team cameras were there as Liss tried to get Drew Melgar's money, which was rent for an apartment. The I-Team learned Liss did not own the apartment, and Melgar gave Liss a piece of his mind.

Liss is charged with grand theft for the thousands of dollars in rent he had already collected and attempted grand theft for what I-Team cameras caught him trying to collect.

"It's obvious Mr. Liss wasn't happy being in court again," said Deputy District Attorney Bill Mitchell.

Over the years, the I-Team has seen Liss try various schemes. When he was an attorney, he took a couple's money to help them adopt a baby girl.

"I can't understand the hell he put us through," one of the victims in the adoption case said.

Liss never filed paperwork and the adoption agency took the baby back after just six weeks.

Other unsatisfied Liss clients described him as "a person like that doesn't have a heart."

Others said: "He's a fraud."

One victim said: "He put me in a big hole."

Additionally, the I-Team reported Liss took on divorce cases and then took his clients' money.

"He didn't show up at court, he didn't tell me about it," said one victim.

Liss was disbarred for his actions.

Prosecutors hope to use I-Team video and the long line of victims to make Liss keep an on-camera promise.

I-Team reporter Mitch Blacher asked Liss, "Are you going to give him his money back?"

"Yeah," Liss replied.

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