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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of Pennsylvania

Monday, May 1, 2017

Squirrel Hill Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Investors

PITTSBURGH – A resident of Allegheny County, Pennsylvania has pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud, Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song announced today.

Golan Barak, 49, of Pittsburgh, PA, pleaded guilty to one count of 18 U.S.C. Section 1343 before the Senior U.S. District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.

According to the information presented to the court, between 2013 and 2016, Barak falsely induced foreign nationals, mostly of Israeli descent, to invest with him in real estate in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, but fraudulently dissipated investors’ money for personal and business expenses, or to buy other properties, or to pay other investors. In particular, Barak admitted to defrauding one investor out of approximately $1,400,000 connected with the purchase of 12 pieces of real estate throughout the Pittsburgh area. The purchase money was used instead to buy other properties, or for Barak’s expenses in his management company, Ergo Management.

Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for August 21, 2017. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both at each count. 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 Gregory C. Melucci is prosecuting this case on behalf of the government.

The FBI conducted the investigation leading to the conviction in this case.

Financial Fraud
Updated May 1, 2017