Ignacio Beato, 46, Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was sentenced by United States District Court Judge James M. Munley to 51 months’ imprisonment, followed by three months supervised release for conspiracy to engage in monetary transactions through a financial institution, with funds that were the proceeds of wire fraud.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, Beato, who was a licensed realtor, falsely represented to potential purchasers that he was authorized to sell vacant conventional and Federal Housing Administration insured mortgaged properties in Hazleton, when in fact, he did not have such authority. Between December 2013 and March 2015, Beato accepted $751,082 from individuals who believed they were purchasing properties. Beato then fraudulently converted that money to his own personal use.
Judge Munley ordered Beato to pay restitution in the amount of $65,000. The reduced restitution amount was due to a number of factors including the fact that some victims were not able to be located and others have filed civil lawsuits attempting to regain their funds. The Internal Revenue Service also previously forfeited $35,000 from Beato’s bank accounts.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigations, the Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Homeland Security, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts prosecuted the case.