Archives For West Virginia

Samuel R. VanSickle aka Donald Blunt, aka Jacob Aiken, aka Paul Walsh, aka William Hall, Attorney, 52, Accident, Maryland was sentenced to two years in prison followed by five years of supervised release for conspiring to commit bank fraud arising from three fraudulent bank loans in which VanSickle received proceeds from the sale of real property in Garrett County, Maryland, and Cheat Lake, West Virginia, totaling over $5.7 million. U.S. District Judge Marvin J. Garbis also ordered VanSickle to forfeit and pay restitution of $2,755,102.50, and forfeit his interest in 40 properties held in his name or in the names of others that are located in Maryland, West Virginia and Pennsylvania, up to the value of $2,755,102.50.

VanSickle and co-defendant Louis W. Strosnider, III, 50, Oakland, Maryland, owned and developed property in Garrett County, Maryland. Strosnider operated Stony Brook Development Company, located in McHenry, Maryland.  Vansickle used the following business names:  Freedom Church, Gospel Church, Equity Exchange, Unity Mortgage, Impartial Lenders and Noble Forest Consultants.

According to his plea agreement, from December 2001 to May 2005, Strosnider fraudulently obtained real estate loans from banks to buy properties controlled, through aliases, by VanSickle.  VanSickle concealed from the lenders his role as seller of the properties and recipient of the sales proceeds through fictitious identities such as “Donald Blunt, Trustee for Gospel Church,” “Donald Blunt, Trustee for Freedom Church,” “Equity Exchange,” “Unity Mortgage,” “Jacob Aiken” and “Allen Helms.” The scheme also involved fictitious down payments, inflated collateral, and false contracts.

For example, in 2002, VanSickle provided $600,000 for the purchase of Red Run, a restaurant and bed and breakfast which bordered on Deep Creek Lake in Garrett County, Maryland.  In April 2003, VanSickle caused Red Run to be transferred for $0 to “Donald Blunt, Trustee for Gospel Church” – a fictitious church with a fictitious trustee.  In February 2004, Strosnider signed a contract to buy Red Run from Gospel Church for $3 million.  The contract recited a fictitious $750,000 down payment.  Strosnider applied to a bank for a loan to complete the purchase of Red Run.  When the bank required additional collateral, VanSickle supplied a timber contract for land in Garrett County with a valuation signed by “Paul Walsh” of “Noble Forest Consultants.”  Both “Noble Forest Consultants” and “Paul Walsh” were fictitious.  The settlement for the sale of the property was conducted by attorney Angela Blythe.  Blythe failed to collect Strosnider’s funds to close the loan.  At VanSickle’s direction, Blythe paid over the sales proceeds of $1.6 million to “Unity Mortgage,” which was VanSickle.  “Unity Mortgage” did not, in fact, have a mortgage on Red Run.

VanSickle and Strosnider used similar fraudulent methods in Strosnider’s purchase from VanSickle of 5.87 acres on State Park Road, bordering Deep Creek Lake, and 116 acres of undeveloped land on Cheat Lake, West Virginia.

VanSickle received over $5.7 million in sales proceeds from the fraudulent transactions.   Strosnider defaulted on all three loans. As a result of the scheme, the loss to the financial institutions was $2,755,102.50, the amount of the loans minus the recovery from foreclosure and sale of the collateral.

Strosnider previously pleaded guilty to his participation in the conspiracy and awaits sentencing. In a related case, Angela M. Blythe, 52, Oakland, Maryland, was convicted by a federal jury on October 9, 2015, after a nine day trial, of conspiring with VanSickle to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and two counts of making a false statement to a bank.  U.S. District Judge William D. Quarles sentenced Blythe to a year and a day in prison, and entered an order requiring Blythe to forfeit $696,517 and pay restitution of $948,203.25.

The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein and Special Agent in Charge Kevin Perkins of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Baltimore Field Office.  United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein praised the FBI for its work in the investigation and thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Joyce K. McDonald and Philip A. Selden, who prosecuted the case.

Angela M. Blythe, attorney, 52, Oakland, Maryland, was sentenced to a year and a day in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for conspiring to commit bank fraud, bank fraud and two counts of making a false statement to a bank.  Blythe was also ordered to forfeit $696,517 and pay restitution of $948,203.25. Blythe was convicted by a federal jury on October 9, 2015, after a nine day trial

Blythe was an attorney licensed to practice in Maryland and West Virginia, with an office in Oakland, Maryland.  She was a settlement attorney in real estate transactions.            Continue Reading…

Montgomery Joseph Isner, 47, Hagerstown, Maryland, was sentenced to 30 months in prison for bank fraud.

Isner misrepresented himself as the owner of a parcel of real property in Berkeley County, West Virginia in order to fraudulently obtain a loan in the amount of $60,000. Isner pled guilty in June 2015 to one count of “False Statement on Loan Application.” As part of the sentence, Isner was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $57,285.78.

The plea was announced by United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Jarod Douglas prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the inquiry.   Chief U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh presided.

Steven A. Crites, 44, Martinsburg, West Virginia, was sentenced to one day in prison followed by one year of supervised release for making a false statement on a loan application.

Crites applied for a loan with Wells Fargo Bank and falsely indicated that his monthly income was $29,000. In fact, his monthly income was $2,833.33. He pled guilty in March 21015 to one count of “False Statement on Loan Application.”

United States Attorney William J. Ihlenfeld, II, announced the sentence.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Camilletti prosecuted the case on behalf of the government. The Federal Bureau of Investigation led the inquiry.

Chief U.S. District Judge Gina M. Groh presided.

David Brandon Ball, 35, Charleston, West Virginia, was sentenced to 37 months in federal prison for defrauding timeshare owners throughout the United States and Canada.

Ball and an associate, David Andrew Glynn, formed Mountain State Resales, LLC (MSR), a bogus company used to defraud timeshare owners of money. Ball and his associates told timeshare owners that MSR had a buyer for their timeshares and persuaded them to advance money to MSR in South Charleston to cover fees and expenses necessary for the sales. In truth, however, MSR had no buyers for the timeshares. Ball knew that the timeshare owners would not receive anything in return for money sent to MSR. Continue Reading…

Montgomery Joseph Isner, 47, Capital Heights, Maryland, was convicted of bank fraud in federal court for misrepresenting himself as the owner of a parcel of real property in Berkeley County, West Virginia, in order to fraudulently obtain a loan in the amount of $60,000.

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Kimberly Haslacker, 39, Romney, West Virginia, was convicted of bank fraud in federal court after she admitted to using her position as a bank loan officer to obtain fraudulent loans.

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Kenneth H. DiPasquale, 38, Morgantown, West Virginia, was sentenced today to 42 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in a series of fraudulent mortgage loan transactions, including one in which he stole an individual’s identity and “sold” that individual his home for a nearly $320,000 profit.

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Raymond Paul Morris, 51, South Weber, Utah, was sentenced to four years and nine months in federal prison for his leadership role in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme linked to properties in a Putnam County, West Virginia subdivision.

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Mark E. Greenlee, 50, Charleston, North Carolina, a former West Virginia licensed real estate appraiser, was sentenced for preparing a false and fraudulent appraisal in 2006 in furtherance of a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud scheme perpetrated by Deborah L. Joyce and others in the Stonegate subdivision in Hurricane, Putnam County, West Virginia.

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