Keith L. Pittman, 53, St. Louis, Missouri, entered a plea of guilty in United States District Court for the Southern District of Illinois, in East St. Louis to making a false statement to a financial institution in conjunction with a mortgage fraud scheme.
Pittman is currently scheduled to be sentenced on June 5, 2009, at which time he faces a potential penalty of up to 30 years’ imprisonment, a fine of up to $1,000,000, and up to five years of supervised release to follow any term of imprisonment.
Pittman was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 19, 2008, as part of a nationwide crackdown on mortgage fraud. Pittman was one of more than four hundred (400) people who were charged nationwide in mortgage fraud cases which were identified as a result of a Department of Justice initiative known as “Operation Malicious Mortgage.”
Pittman and others participated in a scheme to obtain residential real estate for himself by making a series of false statements in connection with a series of fraudulent transactions designed to enable him to obtain real property without making an actual down payment, while simultaneously exposing the lending institution to an undisclosed and increased risk of default.
The investigation supporting this prosecution was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Liam Coonan and Steve Weinhoeft.