(CN) – Ohio attorney Douglas John Ritson was disbarred for duping real estate agents and appraisers into joining two professional organizations, falsely promising that their dues would entitle them to insurance coverage.
The real estate workers registered as members of Ritson’s organizations with the promise that those memberships came with errors-and-omissions insurance coverage from Midwest Insurance Co.
However, Midwest was not licensed to sell insurance in the United States, and the insurance policies did not exist.
Ritson served as claims administrator for the non-existent policies, using members’ dues and fees to make payments.
He pleaded guilty in federal court in 2006 to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. He was sentenced to a year and a day in prison, plus three years of supervised release.
Ritson was also ordered to pay $3.7 million in restitution to those who bought memberships with the non-existent policies.
The Ohio Supreme Court accepted the recommendation of the Toledo Bar to disbar Ritson permanently.