Kauai lawyer gets 10-year jail term
LIHUE » A Kauai lawyer convicted of swindling a Hurricane Katrina survivor out of the proceeds of the sale of her Princeville home has received a 126-month federal jail sentence, officials announced yesterday.
Andrew Lichtenberg also was ordered Tuesday to make full restitution, nearly $374,800, according to the Justice Department.
Lichtenberg has already been disbarred, and he turned over $197,693 to federal prosecutors last week, according to court documents.
In 2004, Ellen Hyman paid Lichtenberg $1,500 to represent her in the sale of her home. Lichtenberg, according to court documents, took the funds from Title Guaranty Escrow Co. and moved to Bali, Indonesia.
Hyman moved to Louisiana during the sale and was forced to spend days on her roof when Hurricane Katrina destroyed New Orleans and the Gulf Coast in August 2005.
In a civil trial that ended in May, Title Guaranty was found to be partially responsible for Hyman's loss, and a jury awarded her $1 million.
Title Guaranty, the largest escrow company in the state, asked Circuit Judge Kathleen Watanabe to order a new trial or to lower the award. The matter was taken under advisement.
Hyman's lawyer, Daniel Hempey, said, "We're thankful that justice was done."