A 71-year-old Pennsylvania man faces up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to a federal mail fraud charge stemming from a mortgage finance scheme prosecutors said cheated more than 800 investors out of nearly $30 million.

Wesley A. Snyder, of Oley, Pa., entered the guilty plea Wednesday in U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of Pennsylvania. The plea agreement was announced Nov. 9 by the U.S. Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania.

Prosecutors said Snyder signed up 811 customers for a pyramid scheme he dubbed the “Wrap Around, Equity Slide Down Discount” mortgage program. Clients agreed to take the excess proceeds from purchase or refinance mortgages and invest them with Snyder’s companies, in exchange for a lower interest rate.

Prosecutors said that beginning in 1988, Snyder took in more than $65.6 million from “Wrap Around” mortgage customers, but forwarded only $39.1 million in payments to their lenders. An additional 31 investors lost $3 million in a separate “Mortgage Participation” investment scheme.

Snyder’s clients did not realize anything was amiss until September, when he notified customers in seven counties that he could no longer make mortgage payments on their behalf. Four days later, on Sept. 18, Snyder filed for bankruptcy on behalf of six companies he operated, including Personal Financial Management and Image Masters Inc.

Some victims have also filed suit against Snyder and the lenders who provided the underlying mortgages, and state and federal agencies are also investigating the defunct businesses, the Associated Press reported.

Show Comments Hide Comments

Comments

Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Success!
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Network with CoStar, Redfin, Realogy, SERHANT., Divvy, and thousands more in-person at ICLV this October. Prices go up Sunday.Register Now×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription