Allegheny County Woman Charged in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Buena Vista, Pa., has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh on a charge of wire fraud conspiracy, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
The one-count indictment named Elizabeth Drake, 40.
According to indictment presented to the Court, Drake was a loan officer at Lender's Corner, which was a mortgage broker business operated by Gilbert Fischer, Jr. and Jason Dull. As part of the conspiracy, Drake, Fischer, Dull, and others at Lender's Corner submitted loan applications to lenders that overstated the applicants' incomes and falsely represented their employment status.
Fischer and Dull pleaded guilty to similar charges, as did Lender's Corner loan officers Dean Ackinclose and Jason Lewis.
The law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense 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 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.
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.
An indictment is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.