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PRESS RELEASE


Pennsylvania Originator Indicted

Overstated Income, Bloated Appraisals Used in Scheme


 
Pittsburgh, Penn. - (May 20, 2009) United States Attorney Mary Beth Buchanan announced today, May 20, 2009, that Deborah Kitay of Sewickley, Pennsylvania, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania on a charge of Wire Fraud Conspiracy in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.

The one-count indictment named Kitay, age 51.

According to the indictment presented to the Court, Kitay was involved in a mortgage fraud conspiracy in which she and other members of the conspiracy submitted false loan applications to lending institutions that overstated the borrowers' income and assets, among other misrepresentations. In addition, as part of the conspiracy, fraudulent appraisals were submitted to the lending institutions as well as fraudulent settlement statements that falsely represented how the proceeds of the loan were to be distributed.

Assistant United States Attorney Brendan T. Conway, who presented the case to the grand jury, indicated that the law provides for a maximum total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed would be based upon the seriousness of the offense and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The Mortgage Fraud Task Force conducted the investigation leading to the indictment in this case. 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.

Mortgage industry members with knowledge of fraudulent activity are encouraged to call the Mortgage Fraud Task Force at (412) 894-7550. Consumers are encouraged to report suspected mortgage fraud by calling the Pennsylvania Attorney General's Consumer Protection Hotline at (800) 441-2555.

An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is presumed innocent and is entitled to a fair trial at which the government must prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.



SOURCE: United States Department of Justice -- Western District of Pennsylvania

 
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