News and Press Releases

Closing Agent Sentenced To 4 Years In Prison For Mortgage Fraud Scheme

December 12 , 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Cheswick, Pa., has been sentenced in federal court to 48 months in prison and five years of supervised release on his conviction of bank fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond imposed the sentence on David Landman, 43.

According to information presented to the court, Landman was a closing agent associated with a closing company called American Deed.  He participated in a mortgage fraud scheme in which he used the name, date of birth, and other identifying information of another individual, and applied for a series of loans and lines of credit all collateralized by Landman's then residence located in Fox Chapel.  Landman also lied to the lending institutions about the individual's income and financial condition.  Landman also failed to pay off the liabilities associated with the collateral for the loan.  For example, if there was a first mortgage on the property, the second lender required that Landman, as the closing agent, pay off the first mortgage.  Landman, however, did not pay off the liabilities, and used the money for his personal purposes.

As for the money laundering allegation, Landman set up a company called AJCA that was purportedly an executive management company.  In reality, AJCA was a shell corporation through which Landman funneled much of the fraudulently obtained money.  Landman then directed that the money that went to AJCA to pay him and to pay his personal expenses that supported his lifestyle.  In total, Landman caused more than $1,000,000 in losses to financial institutions and a title insurance company.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.

U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Mortgage Fraud Task Force for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Landman.  The Mortgage Fraud Task Force is comprised of investigators from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and others involved in the mortgage industry.  Federal law enforcement agencies participating in the Mortgage Task Force include the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations; the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; the United States Postal Inspection Service; and the United States Secret Service.  Other Mortgage Fraud Task Force members include the Allegheny County Sheriff's Office; the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Office, Bureau of Consumer Protection; the Pennsylvania Department of Banking; the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation; and the United States Trustee's Office.

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