White-Collar Crime

Lawyer who hosted radio show avoids prison in $10M mortgage-fraud case

  • Print.


Warren Ballentine. Image from WVON.

A federal judge gave a real estate closing attorney who once hosted a national radio show a break on Tuesday.

Warren Ballentine, 44, got three years of probation, 300 hours of community service and must pay over $140,000 in restitution to lenders for his role in a mortgage fraud that cost them nearly $10 million. But the former People’s Attorney personality isn’t going to have to serve any prison time, the Chicago Tribune (reg. req.) reports.

“He was a relatively new attorney, a relatively inexperienced attorney,” said U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly during Tuesday’s sentencing hearing in the Chicago case. “He was basically chasing fees wherever he could find them. … I view Mr. Ballentine as a relatively minimal participant in this.”

After the hearing, Ballentine said he is grateful he wasn’t sentenced to prison time but plans to appeal his conviction.

“I was portrayed as the one doing all this, but I wasn’t,” he said.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Former ‘People’s Attorney’ radio host is convicted in $10M mortgage-fraud case”

Give us feedback, share a story tip or update, or report an error.