Ex-Highland Country Club owner sentenced in mortgage fraud case

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A federal judge sentenced a Butler man today to six-and-a-half years in prison and ordered him to pay more than $3 million in restitution for diverting money from loan escrow accounts as part of a mortgage fraud scheme.

Jeffrey Garbinski, 44, ran the Closing Co. of PA and Main Street Mortgage Services to close on real estate sales and broker mortgages.

He handled escrow accounts in which money was held during transactions. Prosecutors said he siphoned off money from those transactions for his personal use.

He also took out a $600,000 home loan on his own house from Dollar Bank but concealed the fact that he had two other loans on the house. He pleaded guilty in April to charges of bank, wire and mail fraud and money laundering.

Mr. Garbinski was indicted by a federal grand jury in November 2011, the same month he pleaded guilty in Common Pleas court to stealing money from the Highland Country Club in West View, where he had been the owner and operator.

In that case, he was sentenced to 9 to 18 months of house arrest and ordered to pay more than $174,000 in restitution.

region - businessnews - neigh_north

Torsten Ove: tove@post-gazette.com.


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