Industry News

Real estate fraud ‘Robin Hood’ heads to prison

Broker gave fees, commissions to needy

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Calling Patrick Balf of Allentown, Pa., a variation on the Robin Hood theme, U.S. District Judge Eduardo Robreno nevertheless sentenced Balf to five years in prison Friday, media reports said. Balf, 52, must also pay $2 million in restitution, the judge ruled Friday after Balf in November pled guilty to wire fraud, tax evasion and failing to file income tax returns, the Philadelphia Morning Call reported. Donald Stone, a 57-year-old Allentown real estate broker, was sentenced to six months in prison followed by six months of home detention and was ordered to pay restitution of $820,000, accounts said. Stone plead guilty to wire fraud and filing false income-tax returns, according to accounts. More than 150 homes were involved in a scheme that involved mainly loans to Hispanics, the Morning Call said. Because many of the people who Balf, described by the Morning Call as the owner of a real estate business, obtained homes for could not afford the loans, many of them lost the homes ...