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Ex-Cranberry couple arraigned on fraud charges

An ex-Cranberry couple living in Florida appeared briefly before a federal magistrate in Pittsburgh Tuesday to answer to bankruptcy fraud charges involving some $1 million in hidden assets and a separate embezzlement case.

Gregory Makozy, who formerly ran A1 Mortgage Co. in Cranberry, and his wife, Maria Makozy, were arraigned and allowed to remain free on bond pending trial in two fraud schemes.

Maui Ponzi Scheme Judgment Pushed to October

Two former Maui residents face up to 20 years in prison on each of ten mail and wire fraud offenses when they are sentenced before US District Judge Derrick Watson.

George Lindell, 67, and Holly Hoaeae, 40, were found guilty of the charges in May for their connection to a multi-million dollar Ponzi scheme associated with their mortgage and insurance business on Maui.

Former loan officer at defunct South Hills mortgage company pleads guilty to fraud

A senior loan officer at a defunct South Hills mortgage company pleaded guilty Tuesday to his role in an extensive mortgage fraud scheme just as he and the former company president were set to go on trial in federal court.

Robert Denne of Jefferson Hills, a former top loan officer at Century III Home Equity and later CrossCountry Mortgage, pleaded to bank and wire fraud and will be sentenced in December.

FDLE agent apologized for mortgage form flap

During an investigation into allegations of mortgage fraud, a state law enforcement agent apologized for signing a document she said she didn’t read first.

But Florida Department of Law Enforcement (FDLE) Special Agent Kathy Smith, who served a five-day unpaid suspension last month for breaking the agency’s code of conduct, didn’t commit mortgage fraud, according to the agency’s internal investigation report.


FDLE agent gets five-day suspension, already served, in mortgage case

Kathy Smith, a Key West-based Florida Department of Law Enforcement agent who had been suspended with pay since November 2014 following allegations of mortgage fraud, received a five-day suspension without pay from Aug. 10 to 14 after her agency completed its internal affairs investigation on the matter.

“The internal investigation is closed, the outcome was a sustained violation of member conduct and unbecoming conduct,” FDLE spokeswoman Molly Best said.

Former Wilmington Trust president pleads not guilty to federal fraud and conspiracy charges

Former Wilmington Trust president Robert Harra Jr. was ordered released on bail Thursday after pleading not guilty to fraud and conspiracy charges stemming from an ongoing federal investigation into the collapse of the century-old financial institution.

Harra, 66, said little during his initial court appearance, only acknowledging that he understood the charges and maximum penalties he faces as outlined to him by U.S. Magistrate Judge Christopher Burke.

Real Estate Fraud: Victims of Ignacio Beato Fraud Seek Help

Dozens of residents in Hazleton are seeking for help after being scammed by a real estate agent who was at the same time their community leader. They all bought their houses from Ignacio Beato, who turned out to be selling homes with fraudulent deeds.

The Greater Hazleton Real Estate Association says there are about 50 complaints against Beato, a licensed real estate agent.

Sharrock denied shortened prison sentence

A federal judge has rejected David R. Sharrock’s request to overturn or shorten his 135-month sentence for mortgage fraud, concealment of property and fraudulent transfer in a bankruptcy.

U.S. District Court Judge Donald C. Nugent issued a ruling saying he believes testimony given during a July 28 hearing in Cleveland where Sharrock’s attorney, James McDonnell, told the court the 73-year-old inmate never asked him to file an appeal after he plea no contest in September 2013.

Trial delayed for former land developer accused in investment scheme

Defense attorneys for a former local real estate developer were granted a continuance Wednesday in Solano County Superior Court over a scheduling conflict.

Attorneys in the case of Richard D. Lamphere were ordered back to court Sept. 1 when a new trial date will be selected. A trial could possibly be set for March 2016, according to courtroom discussions.

Judge Denies Habeas, Upholding Fraud Conviction

A former leader of a Haitian paramilitary force failed to persuade a judge that his mortgage fraud conviction in the United States was unsound.

Eastern District Judge Jack Weinstein denied Emmanuel “Toto” Constant’s habeas corpus petition on Friday, saying the lead-up to his conviction—which involved a state judge’s sua sponte decision to vacate Constant’s plea deal in light of serious allegations against him for his acts in Haiti—did not run afoul of due process requirements.