Former appraiser, wife of DEA agent sentenced to 19 months in prison

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A former appraiser who committed fraud and later spooked the Drug Enforcement Administration into providing her with round-the-clock security was sentenced today to 19 months in prison.

Kimberly Baldwin, 46, of Jefferson Hills, inflated appraisals in order to justify loans from 2003 through 2006, costing banks more than $1 million.

Last year, while facing resulting charges of wire fraud conspiracy, she told her husband, a DEA special agent, that people in a gold Buick sedan had watched their house and menaced her. She later wrote two fake threat notes -- including one on a dollar bill -- which were presented to the DEA as indications that someone was harassing her family.

“I told my husband a lie, trying to see if he was being unfaithful to me,” Baldwin told U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti. “I only meant for the lie to remain between my husband and myself.”

The lie, though, cost the DEA and other law enforcement $10,600 in expenses incurred guarding her house, Judge Conti noted.

“We can’t have people making false statements and pulling law enforcement away from the very important duties they have,” the judge said.

She imposed a six-month sentence for mortgage fraud and 13 months for making false statements to the government. Baldwin must also reimburse the DEA $10,600, and pay a share of $22,400 in restitution due to 56 known victims of the mortgage fraud conspiracy in which she played a role.

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


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