News and Press Releases

Two Charged In Fraudulent Loan Scheme

August 31, 2010

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A Lawrence County, Penn., man and a former resident of Allegheny County, Penn., have been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of mail fraud and money laundering, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The four‑count indictment named James C. Platts, 59, formerly of Wexford, Penn., and Deean Haggerty, age 36, of New Castle, Penn., as the defendants. Platts is charged in all four counts of the indictment.  He is presently incarcerated, serving a federal sentence for tax evasion.  Haggerty is charged with one count of mail fraud.

According to the indictment presented to the court, Platts' business, known as Easy Realty Solutions, Inc., entered into agreements with prospective buyers of three residential properties located in Allegheny County. In an effort to obtain loans for these buyers, Platts caused false information to be submitted to the lenders in order to obtain approvals for the loans.  Haggerty, who has been charged with involvement in the submission of fraudulent loan applications for one of the properties, was employed by a mortgage broker known as S & P Mortgage when the loan applications were submitted to the lenders. The indictment further alleges that the fraudulent representations submitted by Platts and Haggerty to the lenders included false statements concerning the buyers' incomes, cash on hand, and rental payment histories.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 70 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both for Platts, and a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both for Haggerty. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

Assistant United States Attorney Shaun E. Sweeney is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.

An indictment or information is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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