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Real Estate & Property Law

Closing Attorney Gets Time in $2.4M Case, But Lawyer in $669K ‘Hedonistic’ Theft Avoids Prison

Posted Mar 15, 2010 1:11 PM CDT
By Martha Neil

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A former Georgia closing attorney and title agent who concealed the fact that prior encumbrances weren't paid off before mortgages were issued in 17 transactions has been sentenced to 21 months in federal prison.

Trent Edward Wright, 38, must also serve three years of probation after he is released and pay a little over $2.4 million in restitution under the sentence handed down Friday by U.S. District Judge Timothy Batten Sr., reports the Forsyth News.

He pleaded guilty in December to a mail fraud charge and relinquished his license to practice law.

“He was supposed to pay off all prior encumbrances on properties to secure loans and pass clear title as warranted by the title insurance,” said Acting U.S. Attorney Sally Quillian Yates of the Northern District of Georgia in a written statement.

“He didn’t. Now he is going to federal prison.”

Meanwhile, an Irish lawyer who used the approximately $669,000 he received from remortgaging his own home to go on a "hedonistic adventure" with his wife rather than pay off a prior loan on the property received a four-year suspended sentence for theft in November, reports the BBC.

Philip Krown, who is also known as William Philip Crossey, was recently struck off the solicitors roll there.

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