Deborah L. Kistner, 50, and her husband, Mark A. Kistner, 52, both of Hilliard, Ohio, pleaded guilty three days after their trial started on a $7 million mortgage fraud scheme they carried out between June 2006 and July 2010.
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, Hilliard, Ohio. She deceived lenders in connection with the purchases of real estate in Ohio and Florida. Evidence presented during the first three days of the trial showed that 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. The government was prepared to show that they secured as much as $7 million in fraudulent loans through their schemes.
Deborah Kistner faces a maximum penalty of up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million on each of the three counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and the one count of bank fraud; and up to ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the three counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Mark Kistner faces a maximum penalty of up to ten years in prison and a fine of $250,000 on the one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. Lenders suffered losses of at least $3.3 million. The plea agreements they signed include forfeiture of investment accounts and restitution to victims.
They were released on bond pending sentencing. Judge Frost will schedule a date for sentencing.
Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Darryl Williams, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation (IRS), Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and other agencies participating in the mortgage fraud task force announced the guilty pleas entered before U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost.
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 are prosecuting the case.