Ohio Twp. Man sentenced to Prison, Ordered to Pay $3.6 M for Defrauding Banks and Laundering Money
PITTSBURGH - A Pittsburgh man has been sentenced in federal court to 54 months in prison and five years of supervised release on his conviction of bank fraud and money laundering, United States Attorney David J. Hickton announced today.
United States District Judge David Cercone imposed the sentence on Peter Cicero, 41. The sentence also included a restitution order of approximately $3.6 million.
According to information presented to the court, Cicero participated in several fraud schemes. Cicero defrauded Community Bank in connection with the $1.8 million loan made to fund Cicero's $3.3 million purchase of certain companies associated with closing real estate transactions. Cicero defrauded Community Bank by overstating the true sales price of the companies, falsely representing that sources outside of the closing companies would make substantial payment toward the purchase of the companies, when, in fact, Cicero took money from the very companies that he was purchasing to fund the purchase thereby defrauding Community Bank and his business partner.
In separate schemes, Cicero caused the submission of fraudulent loan applications and other documents to lenders to obtain loan collateralized by real estate. The false representations to secure loans included overstating income, understating liabilities, and failing to pay liabilities associated with the collateral servicing the loan. He also directed an individual to remove a lien from a title report. Several of the loans were in the names of his elderly in-laws, and were obtained by Cicero without the authorization of the in-laws. Cicero committed money laundering by causing a wire transfer of some of the proceeds of the mortgage fraud scheme to an account at Mars National Bank.
Cicero also committed bankruptcy fraud by concealing money and jewelry in connection with his bankruptcy filings, and access device fraud by using a credit card of his employer without authorization. Cicero’s fraud scheme funded an extravagant lifestyle that included fancy cars, including a Bentley and Ferrari, private school for his children, and an upscale home.
Prior to imposing sentence, Judge Cercone stated that Cicero’s crimes had a devastating impact on a number of individuals' lives.
Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway prosecuted this case on behalf of the government.
U.S. Attorney Hickton commended the Western Pennsylvania Mortgage Fraud Task Force for the investigation leading to the successful prosecution of Cicero.