News and Press Releases

Business Owner Pleads Guilty On Mortgage Fraud Scheme

October 17 , 2011

PITTSBURGH, Pa. - A former resident of Allegheny County pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of mail fraud conspiracy, mail fraud and money laundering, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.

James C. Platts, 60, pleaded guilty to four counts of fraud, one count of money laundering, and one count of conspiracy to commit fraud before Senior United States District Judge Alan N. Bloch.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Platts' business, known as Easy Realty Solutions, Inc., entered into agreements with prospective buyers of four residential properties located in Allegheny County.  In an effort to obtain loans for these buyers, Platts caused false information to be submitted to the lenders in order to obtain approvals for the loans. The indictment further alleges that the fraudulent representations submitted by Platts to the lenders included false statements concerning the buyers' incomes, cash on hand, and rental payment histories.

Judge Bloch scheduled sentencing for April 23, 2012, at 1:30 p.m.  The law provides for a total sentence of 120 years in prison, a fine of $1,750,000, 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 Shaun E. Sweeney is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Internal Revenue Service conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Platts.

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