Ex-appraiser sentenced to 6 years for mortgage fraud
A Shaler man whose original eight-year sentence was overturned by a federal appeals court was sentenced Monday to six years in prison for his role in a multimillion dollar mortgage fraud scheme.
A Pittsburgh federal jury convicted Jason Moreno, 33, on five counts of wire fraud and two counts of conspiracy in September 2013.
A former appraiser, Moreno overstated housing values and glossed over problems such as a den of black snakes in one house’s basement so that others in the scheme could obtain loans for more than the properties were worth.
The U.S. Third Circuit Court of Appeals overturned his original sentence in June because the prosecutor cross-examined him while he was making his final mercy plea before the judge sentenced him. Defendants have a right to speak directly to the court, without cross-examination, before they’re sentenced, the appeals court ruled.
U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer resentenced Moreno on Monday to six years in prison and three years of probation.
She again ordered Moreno to pay $20,000 in restitution to one of his victims but said she would hold a separate hearing on other victims the government has identified since Moreno’s original sentencing.
Brian Bowling is a Tribune-Review staff writer. Reach him at 412-325-4301 or [email protected].