News and Press Releases

Mortgage Broker Sentenced To Prison For Mortgage Fraud Scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 19, 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. ‑ A resident of Richland Township, Pennsylvania, has been sentenced in federal court to 27 months in prison and two years of supervised release on his conviction of wire fraud conspiracy, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer imposed the sentence on Daniel Sporrer, 47, of Gibsonia, Pa.  Judge Fischer also ordered Sporrer to pay approximately $575,000 in restitution.

According to information presented to the court, Sporrer participated in a mortgage fraud scheme with Robert Arakelian, who was a mortgage broker associated with Pittsburgh Home Loans; Karen Atkison, who was a closing agent who worked with Sporrer; and others.  As part of the conspiracy, Arakelian submitted false loan applications to lenders that falsely reported that the borrowers had sufficient funds in their own accounts to make the down payments associated with the purchases of real estate and to otherwise qualify for the loans to finance the purchases of the real estate.  The closing documents, which were prepared and executed by Sporrer and Atkison, falsely reported to the lenders that the borrowers made down payments from their own funds at the closings, when, in fact, they did not make any payments at the closings. In addition, Sporrer advanced money to Arakelian in advance of the closings so that Arakelian could purchase certified checks, copies of which were made to present to the lenders to falsely verify that the borrowers had made the down payments.

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 who conducted the investigation that led to the conviction of Sporrer.  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 United States Secret Service; Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service ‑ Criminal Investigation; the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; and the United States Postal Inspection 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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