White-Collar Crime

Former 'People's Attorney' radio host is convicted in $10M mortgage-fraud case

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Warren Ballentine. Image from WVON.

A federal jury in Chicago has convicted former national talk radio show personality Warren Ballentine in a mortgage-fraud case that cost lenders nearly $10 million.

Jurors deliberated less than two hours after a four-day trial, before convicting Ballentine on Friday of making false statements to lenders and bank, mail and wire fraud, the Chicago Tribune reports. He formerly hosted The People’s Attorney.

More than two dozen home sales in and around Chicago between 2004 and 2006 were at issue in the case. Prosecutors said Ballentine knew that the buyers, who had been recruited by others, had been fraudulently qualified for loans used to purchase the homes.

However, defense lawyer Lewis Myers Jr. said afterward that Ballentine knew nothing of the mortgage fraud and merely acted as a closing attorney, earning about $8,000 in total. Meanwhile, the masterminds made millions.

An appeal is expected. Ballentine faces a maximum of 30 years in prison when he is sentenced in January.

Hat tip: Chicago Sun-Times.

Related coverage:

ABAJournal.com: “Former ‘People’s Attorney’ radio host is tried in $10M mortgage-fraud case over real estate closings”

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