Cop pleads guilty in mortgage scheme

by Justin da Rosa30 Nov 2015
A former Pittsburgh police officer admitted in federal court that he played a role in a mortgage fraud scheme.

Santino Achille resigned from the force on November 5 pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose last week to charges of bank and wire fraud and conspiracy in submitting loan applications containing falsified information, according to the Pittsburgh Post-Gazette.

Achille’s lawyer had not responded to requests for comment by press time, according to the publication.

The plot allegedly involved Century III Home Equity. Its owner, James Nassida, was charged last year with bank and wire fraud; its number 1 loan officer, Robert Denne, was also charge.

Denne and other employees pleaded guilty in a deal with the U.S. attorney’s office in the case against Nassida.

Achille had been an officer since 2009.

Last year he, along with two other officers, was honored at the annual Amen Corner Senator John Heinz Law Enforcement Luncheon Awards. He was given the “Not on My Watch” award for his work fighting violent crime in his district.

“We know the area very well and we try to use that to our advantage,” he said at the time, according to the Post-Gazette. “We protect people that can’t protect themselves.”