Three Pennsylvanians were sentenced to probation Thursday after pleading no contest to criminal charges of defrauding home buyers, and the owner of an implicated company was ordered to pay $1 million in a state civil suit, the Pocono Record reported today.
Of the $1 million, $750,000 will go to restitution for homeowners who can prove they were defrauded, reports said.
Eagle Valley Homes owner Steven Parisi and mortgage broker Rose Perdue each were sentenced to three years probation for forgery, and builder Donald Kishbaugh to two years probation for passing forged documents, by Monroe County, Pa., President Judge Ronald Vican, reports said.
All three pleaded no contest, meaning they would not defend themselves against the charges, reports said.
The state Attorney General’s Office has been prosecuting these three and two other defendants on charges of exploiting first-time home buyers through false documents, forged signatures, inflated home prices and phantom down-payments on second mortgages hidden from both the buyers and the primary lender, according to reports.
In return for their pleas, the Attorney General’s Office dismissed all other criminal charges against Parisi, Perdue and Kishbaugh, but they still face a separate federal civil suit, according to reports.
The three also are permanently banned from being mortgage brokers-bankers or real estate agents in Pennsylvania, reports said.
In addition, Parisi will pay $1 million, $750,000 of which will go to the Attorney General’s Bureau of Consumer Protection Restitution Fund, according to reports. The bureau will distribute that money among the 41 home buyers named as plaintiffs, which works out to more than $18,000 per owner if all 41 can prove they were defrauded, reports said.
The remaining $250,000 will be split between the Commonwealth Court for penalties and the Attorney General’s Office, according to reports.
The defendants declined to comment afterward, reports said, but their attorneys asked the judge to recognize each as a respected community member with no criminal record and that probation would be more appropriate than jail.