Pittsburgh Man Pleads Guilty to Contempt of Court Charge
PITTSBURGH -A Squirrel Hill resident pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of contempt of court, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Dov Ratchkauskas, 49, of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty yesterday to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Ratchkauskas is a defendant in a mortgage fraud case, and in 2011 the Court released him on conditions of bond that limited his travel to the Western District of Pennsylvania, required him to turn in his passport, and prohibited him from obtaining a new passport. Shortly after his arraignment, the defendant sought permission of the Court to travel to Hawaii, but the Court denied the motion. After a Superseding Indictment and numerous continuances, the defendant agreed to plead guilty, and, on Feb. 20, 2015, the Court scheduled the change of plea hearing for Feb. 24, 2015. On Feb. 20, 2015, Ratchkauskas, while in Florida without the permission of the Court, applied for a U.S. passport on an expedited basis. Later investigation revealed that he had traveled back and forth from Florida several times between December 2014 and February 2015. He did not have permission to travel to Florida or anywhere else outside of the Western District of Pennsylvania. While on bond, the defendant also obtained an Israeli passport without the permission of the Court. Ratchkauskas is a citizen of both the United States and Israel, and he has bank accounts in Israel. Interviews of associates indicated that the defendant intended to flee the United States to Israel, but the defendant was arrested before he could flee. The defendant, however, while admitting to willfully violating the conditions of bond, denies that he intended to flee the Country.
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for Aug. 25, 2016. The law provides for a total sentence of life in prison. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Secret Service and the Criminal Investigation Division of the Internal Revenue Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Ratchkauskas.