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Former Pittsburgh-area man faces new white collar charges

A man facing sentencing in what authorities described as a fraudulent real estate scheme has been charged with fraud in connection with an unrelated business, the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette reported on Jan. 31. The IRS is accusing the man, a former resident of McCandless, of charging customers to create websites for their businesses but not delivering. The accused man is expected to be extradited from Arizona back to Pittsburgh to face the new white collar charges.

Before the new charges, the man was on home confinement in Arizona while awaiting sentencing in Pittsburgh. He pleaded guilty in 2011 to charges that he created a pyramid scheme related to purchasing repossessed mobile homes and selling them to hurricane victims who had lost their houses. Authorities said that the man took around $2 million from investors but never purchased any mobile homes.

The IRS charges accuse the man of setting up a web design business and defrauding both site builders and clients. The man, 36, misled an investor over online travel agency that did not belong to him and had the man send money to his "legal advisor's" address. That address belonged to the accused man's mother-in-law, authorities say, though it is not clear if she has been charged as well.

The man also allegedly hired website designers to create sites without paying them, IRS attorneys claim in documents filed in U.S. District Court. He is also accused of selling websites to business owners that turned out to be unusable.

A federal judge in Pittsburgh has ordered the man returned to Pennsylvania for a hearing to deal with the new charges.

Source: Pittsburgh Post-Gazette, "Man awaiting sentencing charged with fraud again," Jan. 31, 2012

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