Rancho Mirage man sentenced for defrauding bank of $5.3M

Steven Pitchersky, 65, plead guilty to wire fraud on Sep. 23rd, 2013

PHILADELPHIA - A 65 year old man from Rancho Mirage has been sentenced to over four years in prison for a scheme to defraud Ally Bank.

Steven Pitchersky caused the bank to lose close to $5.3 million. He plead guilty to wire fraud on September 23, 2013, according to officials with the U.S. Department of Justice.

Pitchersky operated Nationwide Mortgage Concepts. Between August 2009 and January 2011, Ally was the warehouse lender for thousands of mortgage loans in which NMC borrowed from Ally's warehouse line of credit to refinance first mortgages held by other financial institutions.

Pitcherksy made false representations to secure the warehouse line of credit by saying NMC had a $10 million warehouse line of credit with a company named MPL, officials said in a release. He gave Ally Bank a contact number for a person named 'Rick Jay' who he claimed represented MPL.

Officials said the contact number turned out to be Pitchersky's cell phone number and MPL turned out to be the name of another business that he ran.

Over the next three years, he falsely told Ally that he had a warehouse lending relationship with MPL. He used the $10 million warehouse line with Ally to obtain funds to refinance thousands of mortgages held by other banks for NMC customers, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

"Defrauding a recipient is the same as defrauding American taxpayers who funded TARP," said Christy Romero, Special Inspector General for TARP.   "Pitchersky drew down millions of dollars on a warehouse line of credit with Ally through lies and false pretenses, faking that he used Ally's funds to pay off refinanced mortgages while, instead, he used the money in part to fund his luxurious lifestyle and extravagant art collection."

Because Ally required NMC to disburse funds through a third-party, Pitchersky used a company called Hanover that he created, unbeknownst to Ally. This allowed Pitchersky to have complete control over money NMC acquired from Ally's warehouse line.

Officials said between December 2010 and January 2011, Ally advanced NMC about $5.3 million to pay off 23 first mortgages for NMC clients. But, NMC didn't use the funds to pay off these mortgages, and instead used the money to pay off first mortgages for other customers.

Ally Bank realized at the end of January 2011 that Pitchersky and NMC didn't use the money to pay off the 23 loans, so the bank ended the warehouse agreement.

On Wednesday, the defendant was sentenced to 51 months in prison and ordered to pay $3,242,888 in restitution. He will also have supervised probation for five years following his release, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

"Greed got the best of Pitchersky, and for his crimes, he will spend the next 51 months in federal prison," Romero said.

The case was investigated by the FBI, the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Assets Relief Program and the Department of Veterans Affairs Office of Inspector General.

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