Peter N. Price, 49, Hollywood, Florida, pled guilty to a criminal information charging him making false statements to HUD, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001. In addition, Price agreed to make restitution to Stewart Title Guaranty, the victim of his fraud, in the amount of $1,608,246.57.
Sentencing is scheduled for August 27, 2010, at 1:30 p.m. before U.S. District Court Judge James I. Cohn in Ft. Lauderdale. Price faces a maximum statutory sentence of 5 years in prison.
According to the criminal information and statements made during today’s plea hearing, Price, a title attorney, operated Intracostal Title Services, Inc., a title company in Hollywood, Florida. According to statements made in court, Price embezzled more than $1,000,000 in loan proceeds that had been sent to Intracostal’s escrow bank account by clients to pay off prior mortgage loans. Instead of using the money as directed, Price prepared and sent a false HUD1 Real Estate Settlement Form, falsely reflecting the old loans had been paid.
Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, J. Thomas Cardwell, Commissioner, State of Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation, announced the guilty plea.
Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, FBI, the State of Florida’s Office of Financial Regulation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jeffrey H. Kay.