Havasu man convicted of fraud has sentencing postponed
An accused Lake Havasu City conman was promised one thing last week, and given another.
The sentencing hearing of Leighton Ward was scheduled to take place last Friday, but has been postponed to Friday after a decision by presiding Mohave County Superior Court Judge Rick Lambert.
Ward was convicted in July on 18 criminal indictments including two counts of fraud, eight counts of forgery, four counts of preparing false documents and one count of theft.
As the founder of Havasu-based company, The Advocacy for Consumer Rights, Ward allegedly advertised he could help customers escape the legally binding language of their respective mortgage contracts through litigation in the fictitious Federal Postal Court. According to police and prosecutors, Ward fabricated documents to give his victims the illusion that such services had been rendered, at a cost of more than $3,000 per customer.
Ward, who was wanted in Tennessee on similar criminal charges, allegedly fled Havasu when officers began investigating his activities in early 2017. He was found and arrested in Northern California last May.
According to court records, Ward could face a maximum sentence of nearly 26 years in prison. Prosecuting attorney James Schoppman, however, has recommended a sentence of at least 17 years – allowing that all alleged offenses that took place during the same incident be sentenced concurrently, while each of the five incidents for which Ward was convicted would be sentenced consecutively.
Ward was additionally indicted on one count of misrepresenting the quality of a service, for which he was acquitted. His sentencing hearing is scheduled for Friday in Mohave County Superior Court.