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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Southern District of Ohio

Wednesday, November 6, 2013

Hilliard Woman Sentenced To 5-1/2 Years In Prison For Role In Mortgage Fraud Schemes

CONTACT: Fred Alverson
Public Affairs Officer

COLUMBUS – Deborah L. Kistner, 50, Hilliard, Ohio was sentenced to 66 months in prison, five years of supervised release and ordered to repay victims $9,644,601.84 for deceiving lenders while securing fraudulent real estate loans in three different conspiracies between July 2006 and July 2010. Her husband, Mark A. Kistner, 52, was sentenced to five years of probation, ordered to forfeit his retirement account worth about $300,000 and make restitution of $381,764.92.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Kathy Enstrom, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS), Kevin R. Cornelius, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other agencies participating in the mortgage fraud task force announced the sentences imposed by U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost.

“Over five years, Kistner participated in an ongoing, multi-million dollar mortgage fraud in which banks and lending institutions were defrauded out of several million dollars in mortgage loans,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Fulton told the court prior to sentencing. " Her role as a title agent mandated that she be a ‘gatekeeper’ for banks funding these mortgages, and she violated that position of trust.”

The Hilliard couple pleaded guilty on January 18, 2013, four days after their trial started.  Deborah Kistner pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, three counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and one count of bank fraud. Mark Kistner pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.

Deborah Kistner operated Premiere Title Company in Hilliard. She deceived lenders in connection with the purchases of real estate in Ohio and Florida. She conspired with others to secure inflated loans for real estate and kept the excess proceeds or used them to pay others involved in the conspiracy. Deborah Kistner intentionally failed to provide lenders with critical purchase contract language and accurate settlement statements.

Deborah and Mark Kistner also schemed to defraud lenders and launder the money they received through simultaneous “short sale” closings where the lenders would agree to absorb losses on existing mortgage loans while Deborah Kistner actually sold those properties on the same day for a profit and laundered the profits through bank accounts controlled by Mark Kistner.

Stewart commended the cooperative investigation of this case by IRS and FBI agents, and Assistant U.S. Attorney’s Laura Fulton and Dan Brown, who prosecuted the case.

Updated July 23, 2015