Former Hubbard attorney to spend three years in prison
By Justin Wier
A former Hubbard attorney who pleaded guilty to engaging in bank fraud will spend three years in federal prison.
Judge Dan A. Polster of U.S. District Court sentenced Richard LaCivita, 69, to the three-year sentence Monday and ordered him to pay his victims $663,500 in restitution.
LaCivita entered into a plea agreement in December on four counts of bank fraud and one count of making a false statement on a loan.
LaCivita improperly spent money deposited into an escrow account to invest in art, for his own personal use and for operational expenses of his company Associated Land Title Agency, according to court documents.
LaCivita wrote checks to himself or his company for unearned fees to conceal his misappropriation of the funds, the documents said.
Between July 2010 and December 2013, LaCivita also closed on nearly 450 real-estate transactions where he received $309,677 in fees and title-insurance premiums for unissued title-insurance policies.
The false statement charge arose from a claim on a U.S. Department of Agriculture loan document that a title insurance policy had been issued on a Hubbard property.
The bank fraud charges relate to four real-estate transactions in which LaCivita defrauded lenders of $422,333, according of the indictment.
It is unclear whether LaCivita will be able to make restitution because he is financially destitute, according to a sentencing memorandum.
LaCivita forfeited his attorney’s license in 2012 with disciplinary action pending from the Ohio Supreme Court.
The following year he closed Associated Land Title Agency and surrendered his title agent license.