July 3, 2005 |
It's a mystery worthy of Hollywood: In February, $4 million suddenly appeared in the checking account of a suspended Philadelphia lawyer. Who wired it? And why? Is it, as Homeland Security officials in Dallas allege, an effort to launder money? Could it be, as a federal prosecutor in Philadelphia suspects, part of some complex international criminal fraud? Or is it, as the lawyer insists, all quite innocent - simply a surprise investment from an old client who wants to help him make major motion pictures?
April 20, 2010 |
In the beginning, the six-story, 10-unit condo project at 257-59 N. Second St. was to be called Blu, for the color of its exterior panels. Architect Jay Tackett was hired by 257-59 Development L.L.C., and "they even built a scale model of it and had pictures of what the units would look like," said Realtor/mortgage broker Fred Glick, the original listing agent. But completing the project was a hurdle the developer - hamstrung, observers say, by a general contractor who went out of business midstream - couldn't clear.
October 14, 1988 |
We plan to sell our home next month, and we must get top dollar for it. What suggestions do you have to make our home sell for the highest price, as we can't afford to remodel it before selling? The cheapest and most profitable home improvement is fresh paint. Paint your home inside and outside to make it sparkle. Most homes can be painted for a few hundred dollars if you do it yourself. But the return in extra dollars can be thousands. In addition, your freshly painted home will probably sell much faster than if you don't paint it. The next profitable improvement to make at practically zero cost is to clean up your home and yard.
July 2, 2008 |
A former Bucks County prosecutor who had pleaded guilty to stealing mortgage payments, writing bad checks, and forging a judge's signature was sentenced to prison by a Delaware County Court judge yesterday. Joseph James Scafidi, 53, of Warminster, was sentenced to serve 18 to 36 months in state prison and five years on probation, ordered to pay $42,000 in restitution to the homeowners, and forbidden to work in the mortgage or any other financial business. Scafidi, who was working as a mortgage broker when he was arrested, also pleaded guilty yesterday to new charges, including perjury.
September 8, 1989 |
Ferdinand "Frenchy" Risco, a mortgage broker who was convicted of bilking poor Philadelphians out of money due them from sheriff's sales of their homes, was sentenced yesterday to three years in prison. U.S. District Judge Louis H. Pollak also ordered Risco to pay restitution to 16 victims who were defrauded of $52,275 between August 1985 and January 1986 by Risco and his partner, Reginald D. Lundy Sr., a former real estate broker who had pleaded guilty and testified for the prosecution.
July 22, 1992 |
A federal judge in Philadelphia yesterday entered an $18.7 million civil judgment against several area businessmen and their associates for engaging in fraudulent mortgage transactions on residential properties. U.S. District Judge Norma L. Shapiro found that the defendants had defrauded MortgageLinq Corp., of Voorhees, N.J., and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Co. of more than $7 million. After deducting nearly $800,000, the estimated proceeds of mortgage foreclosures, the judge found the defendants liable for trebled damages, $18.7 million, under provisions of the federal Racketeer Influenced and Corrupt Organizations Act. Shapiro said the mortgage scams were devised in 1990 and 1991 by three businessmen, Richard Gottfried and his father, Leonard, both of Wynnewood, and Donald Steerman, of Atlantic City.
May 23, 2008 |
A former Bucks County prosecutor who went to jail 10 years ago for embezzling real estate settlement fees admitted in court yesterday that he had used his job as a mortgage broker to steal from clients again. Joseph James Scafidi, 53, of Warminster, pleaded guilty in Delaware County Court to felony counts of theft and forgery for stealing mortgage payments, writing bad checks, and fabricating an order from a county judge. Scafidi, who worked as a public defender and a deputy district attorney in Bucks County before he was disbarred in 1996, faces up to seven years in prison and a $15,000 fine for each of six charges.
September 29, 2010
Man guilty in fatal stabbing A Camden man was convicted yesterday of killing a girlfriend with whom he had two children. Ernest Lawrence, 29, was arrested for the stabbing death of Jennifer Lane, 19, on Jan. 8, 2008. Prosecutors said he stabbed and slashed her 17 times. He allegedly stabbed himself and then said Lane attacked him. After being released from the hospital he tried to flee to Jamaica but was arrested before he was able to, prosecutors said. He could receive life in prison when he's sentenced Nov. 19. Man shot in Chester bar Two men walked into Bill's Tavern on 3rd Street near Thurlow, Chester, Monday afternoon and opened fire, critically injuring a 35-year-old man, according to police.
February 28, 2013 |
A Pottstown pastor was convicted Tuesday in a complicated mortgage scam in which he recruited members of the congregation to obtain $6 million in fraudulent loans from JP Morgan Chase Bank. Michael Wilkerson, pastor of New Millennium Life Restoration Fellowship; his wife, Joyce; and two others were charged in the scheme, which took place between 2006 and 2008. Michael Wilkerson, who had set up a business that "purported to be a real estate development company," would approach members who had good credit about acting as "straw purchasers" for several homes in Schwenksville, Montgomery County, and Glenmoore, Chester County, federal prosecutors said.
September 30, 2011 |
A former television evangelist who served prison time before starting a church in Chester County was charged Thursday by federal authorities with engaging in a $6.4 million mortgage-fraud scheme. Michael Wilkerson, 45, is pastor of the New Millennium Life Restoration Fellowship, with centers in Spring City and Phoenixville. He also owned the Agape Development Co., which said it developed real estate. According to an indictment returned Thursday, Wilkerson recruited several church members and their families to act as "straw" purchasers of houses in Schwenksville and Glenmoore.