Attorney General gets tough on real estate fraud

April 8, 2005

Asks court to reinstate charges in Poconos fraud ring

Inman News

Pennsylvania Attorney General Tom Corbett asked the Monroe County Court in Pennsylvania to reinstate charges against a Pennsylvania home builder and several employees in connection with a real estate fraud case, Associated Press reported Thursday.

The defendants, who are affiliated with Eagle Valley Homes, had been charged with theft, real estate fraud and predatory lending practices, reports said. These charges were in connection with the attorney general's investigation of alleged real estate fraud in the Pocono Mountains of Northeast Pennsylvania, AP said.

Attorneys representing the defendants told AP a county judge wouldn't have authority to overrule a district judge. "There is no legal authority," Gary Asteak, an attorney for Eagle Valley co-owner Donald Kishbaugh, one of those who had been charged, told AP.

Corbett argued that a review of testimony from a five-day preliminary hearing, which included 13 witnesses and 45 exhibits, would show that prosecutors presented a valid case and District Judge John D. Whitesell "overstepped his authority" in dismissing various counts, reports said.

"This is unusual, but the district justice erred and we're asking the Monroe County Court of Common Pleas to take up the matter," Kevin Harlen, a spokesman for Corbett, told the Associated Press.

Copyright 2005 Inman News

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