A Pennsylvania lawyer is facing criminal charges for allegedly stealing nearly $100,000 in mortgage settlement payments from two elderly couples.
Mark Morrison, 49, is accused of pocketing $99,182 he was given to settle previous outstanding mortgage loans on two properties. Morrison allegedly tried to conceal the fact that he had not paid off all the loans by changing the billing address for one of the loans and making smaller monthly payments himself. The scheme was uncovered in March when a payment arrived late and the mortgage company contacted the property owners, said Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett in a press release.
Morrison is also accused of falsifying documents to deceive his clients into believing he had obtained title insurance for the mortgage settlements. Morrison also failed to make other required payments including taxes, hazard insurance, broker fees and processing fees, the complaint against him alleges.
Morrison, a former Fayette County assistant district attorney, faces felony theft and forgery charges that each carry up to seven years in prison, and misdemeanor charges of tampering with public records and misapplication of entrusted property.
The charges are the first criminal case filed by the state’s Elder Abuse Unit, which was created in July to address the growing number of crimes and scams targeted at Pennsylvania’s nearly 2 million seniors.