The Washington Post yesterday incorrectly reported the sentence given Gaithersburg lawyer Sylvan I. Euzent, who was convicted on two counts of false pretenses for his role in enticing investors into a fraudulent development on the Eastern Shore. Montgomery County Circuit Judge John Mitchell said he sentenced Euzent to a total of four years of supervised probation. The defendant has agreed to make restitution of $32,500 to investors he defrauded, Mitchell added.
A Gaithersburg lawyer convicted of luring investors into a $1 billion Eastern Shore development that turned out to be a fraud was sentenced yesterday to two years of unsupervised probation.
Montgomery Circuit Judge John Mitchell rejected prosecution pleas that Sylvan I. Euzent, 51, be imprisoned for his alleged role in helping Paul Toneman of Silver Spring promote the new town development known as Patone Village. He also rejected a defense motion for a new trial.
In June, Euzent was acquitted on two counts and convicted on two counts of false pretenses for allegedly cooperating with Toneman in the fraudulent scheme. Euzent's convictions stemmed from the bilking of two area businessmen in 1976 of $32,500, of which Euzent received $20,000 from Toneman. Euzent said the money was for legal fees. The prosecution said it was his part of the take for the criminal act.
The prosecution conceded throughout the trial that Euzent's role was secondary to Toneman's. Toneman billed the proposed new town in Worcester County as the "Eastern Shore Columbia" and told investors it would be financed by Arab oil money. He also said it would include 60,000 homes, the world's largest shopping center, a model hospital, a yacht club and a police force larger than that of Washington, D.C.
Euzant told the judge yesterday he had been "duped" by Toneman, felt badly for the victim and believed he had committed no criminal acts.
While not condoning white collar crime, the judge said, Euzent, whose 23-year-old daughter died in August, had suffered enough and should not be sent to prison. The crimes with which he had been charged carried 10-year maximum sentences.
Toneman was convicted in 1977 of seven counts of fraud in connection with the scheme and is serving a 29-year sentence in the state penitentiary. Euzent, now facing loss of his license to practice law, declined comment on his sentencing.