Real Estate & Property Law

Multiple lawyers admit guilt in mortgage-related criminal cases

Multiple attorneys have recently been making headlines as defendants in mortgage-related criminal cases.

Last Friday, Pennsylvania attorney Lisa Gerideau-Williams, 46, pleaded guilty in federal court to 16 counts including wire fraud and filing false income tax returns, concerning what prosecutors described as a multi-faceted $1.7 million fraud, reports the Pittsburgh Tribune-Review. The government says she operated a mortgage-broker business and two real estate services companies for her own benefit, pocketing money that should have been used for client transactions, as a press release from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Western District of Pennsylvania details.

On Tuesday, former Michigan Supreme Court Justice Diane Hathaway, 58, pleaded guilty to bank fraud in federal court in Ann Arbor.

Meanwhile, a federal judge in Manhattan sentenced attorney Neal Sultzer to 24 months in prison for his role in a $66 million mortgage fraud, reports Newsday (sub. req.).

An earlier post and a press release last year from the U.S. Attorney’s office for the Southern District of New York give more details about the case.

On Wednesday an apparent co-defendant of Sultzer in the federal case, now-disbarred New York attorney Kevin Hymes, 39, pleaded guilty in Westchester County state court to felony charges the district attorney said were related to his theft of $2 million in real estate transactions over a period of over five years, reports the White Plains Daily Voice. At least some of the victims were his clients.

On Monday, Hymes was sentenced in the federal court case, the newspaper notes, although the article does not provide details of his federal sentence. It will run concurrently with the state-court sentence he is scheduled to get in April, where Hymes faces a maximum possible prison term of 15 years.

Both he and Sultzer agreed to forfeit millions when they pleaded guilty in the case, Courthouse News reported last year.

A Times Herald-Record article from 2007 describes a real estate transaction then in issue.

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