Jury finds former appraiser guilty of mortgage-related fraud

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A former property appraiser was found guilty today of five counts of wire fraud and two counts of wire fraud conspiracy in the latest of a long series of federal criminal cases stemming from the past decade's mortgage lending practices.

Jason Moreno, 30, of Brighton Heights faces sentencing Jan. 15 before U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer.

Mr. Moreno ran Platinum Appraisal Services. Over the course of a two-week trial, assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan Conway, who runs the multi-agency Mortgage Fraud Task Force, convinced the jury that Mr. Moreno routinely inflated appraisals to justify outsized loans. Mr. Moreno also provided inflated appraisals in transactions from which he and his relatives took five-figure checks.

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Rich Lord: rlord@post-gazette.com, 412-263-1542 or Twitter @richelord


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