Mortgage Broker Pleads Guilty In Fraud Scheme
PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Pittsburgh, Pa., pleaded guilty in federal court on May 13, 2011, to a charge of wire fraud conspiracy, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
Rhonda Roscoe, 41, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.
In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Roscoe participated in a mortgage fraud conspiracy. Roscoe was a mortgage broker who operated, along with another individual, Riverside Mortgage. Roscoe submitted to lenders loan applications and other documents that falsely represented that borrowers were making substantial down payments in connection with the purchase of properties, and that they had sufficient assets to qualify for the loans. In fact, the borrowers did not have sufficient assets to qualify for the loans and did not make substantial down payments from their own funds in connection with the purchases. The plea agreement stipulates to a loss caused by the fraud scheme as between $400,000 and $1,000,000.
Judge Fischer scheduled sentencing for Sept. 9, 2011 at 9:00 a.m. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense 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 that led to the prosecution of Roscoe. 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.