Former Mon Valley Attorney Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Elderly Client
PITTSBURGH - A resident of Fayette County, Pennsylvania, has pleaded guilty in federal court to charges of mail fraud, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.
Keith A. Bassi, age 61, of Fayette City, PA, pleaded guilty to three counts before United States District Judge Arthur J. Schwab.
In connection with the guilty plea, the Government represented in Court that since 2013, Keith A. Bassi, a licensed attorney, misappropriated for personal use approximately $505,000.00 in funds belonging to the estate of an elderly person diagnosed with dementia. Bassi held a power of attorney for the victim, and then engaged in a series of financial transactions in which he diverted the victim’s assets into bank accounts he created and controlled at Charleroi Federal Savings and PNC Banks. In one instance, Bassi made insurance premium payments using the victim’s funds on a whole life policy at Pacific Life purchased in the name of someone other than the victim, and then later cancelled the policy and kept the surrendered cash proceeds for himself. He also used the victim’s estate funds to operate Mid Mon Valley Publishing Co. in Charleroi, Pennsylvania.
Judge Schwab scheduled sentencing for March 14, 2018. The law provides for a total sentence of 60 years in prison, a fine of $750,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.
Assistant United States Attorney Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.
The United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Keith A. Bassi.