Real Estate & Property Law

Bad Closing Doc Puts Va. Lawyer in Jail

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A former president of the Northern Virginia Bankruptcy Bar Association reportedly has been sentenced by a federal judge to a year and a day in jail for conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The sentence yesterday concerned a closing document that Leslie W. Lickstein, 54, of Fairfax, prepared in 2002 for the sale of an expensive Great Falls, Va., home, according to the Washington Post (second news item).

Relying on the document, federal prosecutors said, Lehman Brothers Bank made a multimillion-dollar mortgage loan to an unqualified buyer. After the buyer defaulted, the bank eventually took a loss of $1.1 million when the property was sold, reports the Post.

Lickstein, who pleaded guilty in May, was also ordered to pay $1.1 million in restitution by U.S. District Court Judge Gerald Bruce Lee in Alexandria, Va., according to the Post and the Fairfax County Times.

Lickstein’s law license was suspended for five years in 2004, after he was “found to have failed to disclose to the court a fact necessary to avoid assisting in a criminal or fraudulent act,” states a post written by a Virginia Lawyers Weekly news editor in the paper’s law blog. It appears that the U.S. Bankruptcy Court in Alexandria is the court referred to.

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