News and Press Releases

North Hills Man Charged In Mortgage Fraud Scheme

December 21 , 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Wexford, Pa., has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on charges of wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

The three-count indictment, returned on Dec. 20, named Michael Ferrazza, 43.

According to the indictment presented to the Court, Ferrazza participated in a mortgage fraud scheme in which he purchased three properties, including his residence. The loan transactions that financed the purchases were fraudulent because the closing documents approved by the lender reflect Ferrazza making substantial down payments in connection with the purchases of the properties when, according to the indictment, not only did he not make a down payment, but he received cash back from the transactions.

The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 60 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both.  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 Brendan T. Conway is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The Mortgage Fraud Task Force conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case.  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 Investigation; 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.

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

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