Article Courtesy of The Pensacola
Published September 14, 2017
A former Gulf Breeze attorney has been sentenced to
more than three years in prison and ordered to pay $3.7 million in
restitution for fraud and embezzlement.
Richard Michael Colbert, 56, of Pensacola Beach was sentenced Friday for
conspiracy to commit bank and mail fraud, making a false statement to a
federally insured financial institution, nine counts of money laundering
and two counts of theft, embezzlement or misapplication by a person
connected with a financial institution.
Colbert was working as a title attorney in 2007 when he signed and
submitted a false HUD-1 to the now defunct Gulf South Private Bank in
order for one of his business partners to obtain a million-dollar loan
from the bank.
The bank ultimately lost more than $600,000 as a result of the
fraudulent contract, according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Then, in 2010, Colbert again facilitated a fraud conspiracy by handling
a number of closings that defrauded Bank of America, Beach Community
Bank and the now defunct Premier Community Bank. The total loss from all
three banks exceeded $2.3 million.
Colbert also embezzled and misapplied more than $400,000 being held at
Beach Community Bank and conducted a series of financial transactions
laundering the funds.
The U.S. Attorney's Office release details a series of transactions
Colbert completed over a period of years, including defrauding
homeowners associations he had been trusted to oversee.
Colbert was sentenced Friday to three years and four months in prison
and was ordered to pay back more than $3.7 million to the different