Randy Berger, 39, and Elleni Berger A/K/A Elleni Klimantis, 43, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charges of Wire Fraud Conspiracy in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. Elleni Berger also pleaded guilty to a charge of Filing a False Tax Return.
In connection with the guilty plea (Randy) and court information (Randy, Elleni), the Bergers operated All Credit Finance, which was a mortgage broker company that assisted borrowers obtain financing collateralized by real estate. The couple participated in a conspiracy in which they and other members of the conspiracy submitted fraudulent loan applications on behalf of borrowers that overstated their financial condition, and a series of fraudulent documents that supported those misrepresentations. In addition, Randy and Elleni Berger submitted appraisals that were fraudulent in that the appraisals overstated the values of the properties that were serving as collateral for the loans, and represented that they had been prepared by licensed appraisers when, in fact, they were not prepared by licensed appraisers.
Elleni Berger also filed false tax returns that were false in that they reported significantly less income than she actually earned.
United States District Judge Joy Flowers Conti scheduled sentencing for June 16, 2010. The law provides for a total sentence of 23 years in prison, a fine of $500,000, or both, for Elleni Berger, and a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both, for Randy Berger. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentences imposed are based upon the seriousness of the offense and the criminal history, if any, of the defendants.
The Mortgage Fraud Task Force conducted the investigation that led to the prosecution of Randy and Elleni Berger. The Mortgage Fraud Task Force is comprised of investigators from federal, state and local law enforcement agencies and others involved in the mortgage industry. Federal law enforcement agencies participating in the Mortgage Task Force include the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations; the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; the United States Postal Inspection Service; and the United States Secret Service. Other Mortgage Fraud Task Force members include the Allegheny County Sheriff’s Office; the Pennsylvania Attorney General’s Office, Bureau of Consumer Protection; the Pennsylvania Department of Banking; the Pennsylvania Department of State, Bureau of Enforcement and Investigation; and the United States Trustee’s Office.