Legal Ethics

R.I. Lawyer Admits He Stole $2.5M in 13 Real Estate Deals and is Disbarred

A lawyer in Cranston, R.I., was disbarred by the state’s supreme court last week after his counsel disclosed that Pasquale Scavitti III had admittedly stolen $2.5 million in more than a dozen real estate transactions and submitted his affidavit consenting to disbarment.

The amounts taken by Scavitti from 12 homeowners in 13 real estate closings and refinancings ranged from $80,341 to $490,290, reports the Providence Journal.

Scavitti, 46, had been practicing law since 1995. He has not been charged with any crime, but David Curtin, chief disciplinary counsel for the state supreme court, says he has forwarded information to both the Rhode Island attorney general and state police.

“It’s a lot of money,” says Curtin, who has been with the disciplinary counsel’s office for 17 years. “This is the largest theft by a lawyer I’ve ever seen.”

The situation apparently began to unravel after a mortgage company and a homeowner involved in two separate deals complained to Curtin’s office last month. At least one of the two complaints concerned problem payments.

There is no immediate explanation about what happened to the $2.5 million, but Curtin says it is apparently gone.

Lawyers for Scavitti say he is remorseful and will continue to cooperate with authorities.

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