News and Press Releases

Fox Chapel Woman Sentenced To Prison For Mortgage Fraud Scheme, False Tax Returns

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
January 12, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A resident of Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to three years in prison on her conviction to a charge of wire fraud conspiracy in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme and to a charge of filing a false tax return, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti imposed the sentence on Elleni Berger, a/k/a Elleni Klimantis, 44.

According to information presented to the court, Berger and her husband, Randy Berger, operated All Credit Finance, which was a mortgage broker company that assisted borrowers in obtaining financing collateralized by real estate.  Elleni Berger participated in a conspiracy in which she and other members of the conspiracy submitted fraudulent loan applications on behalf of borrowers that overstated their financial condition, and a series of fraudulent documents that supported those misrepresentations.  In addition, Elleni Berger submitted appraisals that were fraudulent in that the appraisals overstated the values of the properties that were serving as collateral for the loans, and represented that they had been prepared by licensed appraisers when, in fact, they were not prepared by licensed appraisers.

Elleni Berger also filed false tax returns that were false in that they reported significantly less income than she actually earned.

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 conducting the investigation that led to the prosecution of Elleni Berger.  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.

Mortgage industry members with knowledge of fraudulent activity are encouraged to call the Mortgage Fraud Task Force at (412) 894-7550.  Consumers are encouraged to report suspected mortgage fraud by calling the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 441-2555.

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