An Ohio couple was sentenced Wednesday for a $9 million mortgage fraud scheme that reached all the way to Florida.
U.S. District Judge Gregory L. Frost sentenced Deborah L. Kistner, 51, to 5 ½ years in prison. Deborah Kistner’s husband, 52-year-old Mark Kistner, was sentenced to three years’ probation after Assistant U.S. Attorney Laura Fulton told the judge his involvement in the scam wasn’t as serious as his wife’s, according to a Columbus Dispatch report. Mark Kistner had pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, three counts of conspiracy to commit money laundering and one count of bank fraud.
Deborah Kistner was the owner of Premier Title in Hilliard, Ohio. Along with co-conspirators, she got investors to buy houses using inflated loans, promising the investors kickbacks and taking kickbacks for herself, according to the Dispatch. She also defrauded lenders through short sales and with shady property purchases in Florida, the Dispatch reported.
“Deborah Kistner is the only link between all the schemes,” Fulton said. “In each of these schemes, she was central. She knew well it was completely illegal.”
Frost ordered the Kistners to pay $9.4 million in restitution in conjunction with co-conspirators, according to the Dispatch.