On Wednesday, January 10, 2024, CantonRep reported that former Ohio attorney William R. Sparks pleaded not guilty in court to 22 criminal charges relating to real estate transactions. Some of the charges included engaging in corrupt activity, five counts of theft from a protected class, money laundering, aggravated theft, passing bad checks, and grand theft.
The charges stem from Sparks’ alleged theft of $882,109 from seven victims while working as an attorney through his title company American Realty Title Assurance Company of Stark County between August 2018 and November 2020. The indictment claims he stole funds that were meant to be distributed to parties in real estate deals.
Five of the victims named in the criminal case match those listed in a previous complaint filed by the Stark County Bar Association in 2020 regarding misconduct allegations. The figures specified in the indictment correspond to the amounts mentioned in the bar association complaint for the five victims who are identified in both documents.
The 71-year-old Jackson Township resident is being represented by defense attorney Jeffrey Jakmides in the ongoing case at Stark County Common Pleas Court. Jakmides did not provide a comment on the case. Sparks resigned from practicing law in October 2020 during the disciplinary proceedings against him by the state bar association.