A federal judge Monday gave a disbarred attorney a few months to sell his Irvine home to help pay restitution to victims of a fraud scheme before the lawyer is sentenced.

The last time Bruce Haglund appeared before U.S. District Judge David O. Carter in February, he begged the judge for more time before being sentenced so he could keep his wife at home as she suffered through the final stages of Alzheimer’s disease.

Haglund told Carter on Monday that his wife died early last month, and he thanked the judge for giving him time to care for her in familiar surroundings in her final days.

“We are grateful for the judge allowing Mr. Haglund to be with his wife as she passed away,” defense attorney Dyke Huish said after the hearing.

Haglund is “doing everything he can” to pay restitution, according to his lawyer, who said Haglund has waived his homestead exemption rights in bankruptcy proceedings so he can free up all of his assets for the victims, Huish said. Days after his wife’s death, Haglund listed his Irvine home for sale, his attorney said.

Prosecutors have recommended that he be sentenced to two years and three months in federal prison. In February, Carter indicated he was considering 18 months to 27 months.

Haglund, who was disbarred in July of last year, did not realize initially that his role in the scheme was illegal, according to Huish. “But when the water was boiling he didn’t get out,” Huish told Carter at the February hearing. “His mistake, his crime was he should have said no … He should have known better.”

Haglund pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting wire fraud in April 2016 and testified against co-defendant Mark Gelazela of Marina del Rey, who was convicted in September 2016 and sentenced to 41 months in prison.

Gelazela’s victims were told they were investing money that would be spent on leasing and monetizing bank guarantees, according to prosecutors. Investors were told that upon leasing the bank instruments, a credit line would be drawn that would be used for trading that would lead to big profits. Instead, Gelazela and his co-conspirators spent most of the money on themselves, and some investors were paid off to keep the scheme going, prosecutors said.

About 18 victims lost about $5 million in the scam, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

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