Butler man pleads guilty in loan escrow fraud

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A Butler man pleaded guilty today to participation in a fraud conspiracy in which he diverted money from loan escrow accounts.

Jeffrey Garbinski, 44, ran The Closing Co. of PA as well as Main Street Mortgage Services. He closed property sales, brokered mortgages and served as a title insurance agent, according to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brendan Conway.

Mr. Garbinski handled escrow accounts in which money sat during transactions and from which loans were to be paid off when new loans were issued, Mr. Conway said.

The defendant "was siphoning off money from those transactions for a number of years to support his lifestyle," Mr. Conway said.

Mr. Conway said that Mr. Garbinski also took out a $600,000 home loan on his own residence from Dollar Bank, concealing the fact that he already had two other loans on the house.

When he went bankrupt, Dollar Bank was left in the third position to recoup funds.

Mr. Garbinski is set to be sentenced July 24 by U.S. District Judge Cathy Bissoon.

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


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