News and Press Releases

Company To Pay Restitution, Serve Probation For Providing False Appraisals

March 1, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ Castle Realty Appraisal Services, Inc., a corporation headquartered in New Castle, Penn., has been sentenced in federal court to pay $244,000 in restitution and to serve two years of probation on its conviction of bank fraud, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

Senior United States District Judge Gustave Diamond imposed the sentence on Castle Realty Appraisal Services, Inc.

According to information presented to the court, Castle Realty Appraisal Services, Inc. provided fraudulent appraisals to First Commonwealth Bank in connection with a loan application.  The appraisals were fraudulent because they misrepresented the values of the properties, the condition of the properties, and whether the properties were occupied.

Assistant United States Attorneys Brendan T. Conway and James Kitchen 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 Castle Realty Appraisal Services, Inc. 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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