Leesburg lawyer Christopher J. Agresto has acknowledged in court his role in a scheme to help a man pocket insurance proceeds from his wife’s death, even though the man was deemed a “person of interest” in the death.
According to authorities, James Cilenti of Leesburg was barred from receiving $500,000 in life insurance proceeds because he was under investigation in his wife’s death. Agresto was accused of helping Cilenti get around that prohibition by creating a trust supposedly for the benefit of Cilenti’s adopted daughter.
Instead of using the trust to help the daughter, authorities said, Agresto promptly paid out $400,000 to Cilenti. More money followed, all of it headed for Cilenti’s business account, not for the daughter.
Agresto and Cilenti both pleaded guilty last week to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, which carries a maximum 20-year term, according to the Loudoun Times.
Agresto was disciplined by the Virginia State Bar in 2009 with a public reprimand with terms for transgressions involving diligence and safekeeping of client money. He remains in good standing with the VSB.
Oddly, Agresto’s website bio indicates his 1993 law degree comes from the “University of Leesburg, The T.C. Williams School of Law, Leesburg, Virginia.”
The T.C. Williams School of Law is at the University of Richmond. There is no law school in Leesburg.
By Peter Vieth