News and Press Releases

Closing Agent Pleads Guilty To Multiple Charges In Fraud Scheme

June 20, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of bank fraud, money laundering and aggravated identity theft in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

David Landman, 43, of Cheswick, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge Gustave Diamond.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Landman, who was a closing agent, participated in a mortgage fraud scheme in which he used the name, date of birth, and other identification 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.  The first loan was done with the other individual's authority, but not the rest of the loans and lines of credit.  Landman also lied to the lending institutions about the individual's income and financial condition.  Landman also failed to payoff 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.  Landman funneled much of the money that was supposed to go to payoff liabilities associated with the Fox Chapel residence through AJCA's PNC Bank account.  Landman then directed that the money that went to AJCA be used to pay him and to pay his personal expenses that supported his lifestyle.

The law provides for a total sentence of 52 years in prison, a fine of $1,500,000, or both.  Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offenses and the 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.

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