A former fugitive from California was sentenced Friday to three years in federal prison for trying to scam $1 million from a Garden City law firm after he escaped from prison in 2009 while serving a sentence for committing the same scam in the Golden State.
Richard Lagerveld had pleaded guilty to mail and wire fraud charges in 2012 at Central Islip federal court for the second set of crimes.
Prosecutors said the 57-year-old law school graduate initially devised a scheme to defraud two Long Island law firms out of more than $9 million by submitting claims for non-existent plaintiffs to class action lawsuit settlement administrators.
He was arrested for that scam in 2004 at a San Diego homeless shelter. Authorities seized $8.5 million from his accounts before he was sentenced to 10 years in prison. He then escaped in ’09 while traveling unescorted on a bus taking him from one prison to another as part of a program for low-risk inmates, The Associated Press reported.
Apprehended two years later, Lagerveld pleaded guilty to committing the same scam while he was on the run. The escape charge was dropped in exchange for his plea.