Renita Burke, Euclid Heights, Ohio, along with 11 other defendants, were indicted in a multi-count indictment stemming from their involvement in a mortgage-fraud scheme. As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, Burke was charged with six counts: (1) theft by deception, (2) securing a writing by deception, (3) receiving stolen property, (4) identity fraud, (5) tampering with records, and (6) falsification. Under a plea agreement, Burke pled guilty to an amended count of aggravated theft, a felony of the fifth degree, and all other counts of the indictment were dismissed. The trial court accepted her plea and later sentenced her to 11 months in prison and ordered her to pay court costs.
Burke appealed her sentence raising the following single assignment of error: Defendant’s sentence of 11 months for a first-time offender was inconsistent with similar sentences imposed for similar offenses upon co-defendants and other felony 5 offenders and constituted a manifest injustice. Finding no merit to the appeal, the appellate court affirmed Burke‘s sentence.