Reported Legal Misconduct and Civil Rights and Ethics Violations Committed By Attorney Pasquale A. Scavitti In Rhode Island Courts
2009 - An apologetic Pasquale A. Scavitti, the now-disbarred Cranston lawyer who stole $2.5 million from clients who trusted him to handle their mortgages and home refinancing, was sentenced to serve three and a half years for his crimes in U.S. District Court.
In June, Scavitti pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud for diverting money from 13 transactions totaling $2.5 million from homeowners refinancing or buying new homes. Scavitti instead used the money for personal and office use between 2003 and 2008. He was disbarred in August 2008 for his actions.
Judge William Smith told Scavitti, “You left a wake of destruction that is really extraordinary,” Smith said. “...It’s mind-boggling, really, and distressing. It shows you how important the relationship the attorney has to the client and how much damage can be done when an attorney does what you did here.”
Marlon Pineda told the court Tuesday the family had known Scavitti since he was in middle school. Scavitti had always been their lawyer, their friend. Marlon Pineda’s father, Moises Pineda, came to the United States from Guatemala in 1981 and, eventually, saved up enough money to purchase two houses behind one another in Providence. He lived in one and the other, divided in units, housed his extended family. Marlon Pineda, who spoke on behalf of his father, said he is in danger of losing both of the homes because of Scavitti’s actions.
“My father was living the American dream and to have it taken away by something he had no fault in doesn’t make sense,” he told the court. “If my father can keep his homes, that’d be the best thing for us. It doesn’t matter if you put [Scavitti] away for 30 years; if my father loses his home tomorrow, what is that going to do for us?”
Kevin and Lisa Crisafulli, of Pawtucket, also trusted Scavitti with their mortgage refinancing. Now, with a lien on their property because of Scavitti’s betrayal, the family, which just had another baby, is unable to move into a house to accommodate their growing family. Lisa Crisafulli said all they want is restitution for their home and for the legal fees they’ve accumulated because of the ordeal. “This has impacted not only his family, but the families he stole from as well,” she said. “All we need is to be paid back every cent and every dime of what we’ve had to incur.”
Scavitti will be required to pay $2,496,811.90 in restitution to his victims. No additional fine was levied. Judge Smith said any restitution will likely come from any malpractice insurance policies Scavitti had, but even then, it is unlikely that all of the victims will recoup all of their stolen funds.