Individuals who allegedly stole hundreds of thousands of dollars from an unsuspecting local couple waived their right to a preliminary hearing on Tuesday.
Police charged Diana Baleno and Naomi Peters, the alleged pair of perpetrators, with using their Ultimate Real Estate Settlements services out of offices in Monroeville to steal more than $200,000 from one of their customers.
WPXI legal analyst Phil Dilucente said the charges stemming from these accusations are very serious.
“Not including and limited to mail fraud, mortgage fraud (and) intentionally deceiving another for pecuniary gain, they are looking at substantial time prison if convicted for these charges,” said Dilucente.
Rachel Kutch and her husband George Lokay refinanced their mortgage to consolidate two payments into one. Ultimate Real Estate Settlements failed to pay one of the banks $230,000, according to authorities.
Bank fraud laws are designed to protect the consumer.
"Well the whole theory is that the prevalence of bank failures and people paying more on their mortgages through interest rate hikes is because of what’s happened with the mortgage fraud related actors," said Dilucente.
According to D.A. investigators, Baleno and Peters said they used the money to pay company expenses.
Baleno and Peters were released without posting bond Tuesday after they waived their right to a preliminary hearing. Both are only charged in this case and face a formal arraignment on March 6.