Convicted ex-lawyer Gary Ravet, dead in apparent suicide in La Jolla

Gary Ravet of La Jolla
( / Peggy Peattie)

A former San Diego attorney who was convicted this week of forgery and writing nearly $2,500 in bad checks was found dead in an apparent suicide at his La Jolla home Wednesday night.

Gary Ravet, 60, faced up to four years and four months behind bars in the case. Sentencing had been set for March 24.

A San Diego Superior Court jury found Ravet guilty of five felonies on Tuesday: passing a forged document, filing a forged document with a public office, burglary, writing bad checks and grand theft. The forged document was a deed of reconveyance that released a $230,000 lien — held by a former girlfriend — on his La Jolla home.

The case also included three bounced checks Ravet had written in 2013: two to Costco for a total of $2,422 and one to Vons for $59.

Judge Peter Gallagher said after the verdict that he’d allow Ravet to remain free on bond to give him time to get his affairs in order. The judge asked Ravet’s lawyer to deliver Ravet’s passport to the court by noon Wednesday. Ravet’s body was discovered by San Diego police about 10:30 p.m., after someone requested they check his welfare, police said.

A cause of death has not yet been determined.

Ravet has a combative history in San Diego’s civil courts, with more than 100 lawsuits either filed by or against him and his businesses, a review of court records shows. He resigned from the California State Bar in 2003 to avoid disciplinary proceedings.

He ran several businesses, including a production company, and was at one time president of La Jolla’s Congregation Beth El synagogue.

The biggest litigation involved a lawsuit he filed over a gym membership. He was sued for malicious prosecution for bringing the gym lawsuit and eventually ordered to pay $383,000 in damages. The gym then filed its own lawsuit against him, accusing him of shielding assets to avoid paying the judgment. He lost that suit and was ordered to pay a judgment of more than $1 million.