Thursday, October 11, 2012

Philly 'Dream-Killing Slumlord' Cops Plea To Loan Fraud In Connection With Rent To Own Racket That Left Wanna-Be Homeowners Screwed Over

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Philadelphia, Pennsylvania):

  • Robert Coyle, Sr., 67, of Glassboro, New Jersey, pleaded guilty [] to two counts of loan fraud. Coyle owned and/or rented more than 300 properties in Philadelphia and operated a real estate business out of 2332 E. Allegheny Avenue. Among his business entities were Landvest, LLP, Alivest, LLP, and Otay, LLC, to name few.

    Through those business entities, Coyle borrowed more than $3 million from East River Bank (“ERB”) and more than $6.6 million from Republic First Bank (“RFB”). Polonia Bank was a 49% participant in the ERB loans after settlement. The purpose of the loans was purportedly to refinance existing loans, make improvements on some of the properties Coyle owned, and/or to allow Coyle to pursue other real estate opportunities.

    Coyle pledged approximately 71 properties to secure the ERB loans and approximately 117 other properties to secure the RFB loan. The banks anticipated that the loans would be repaid through rental income that Coyle was collecting and, if necessary, through the sale of the collateral properties.

    But Coyle had entered into various ownership agreements, including rent-to-own, with the occupants of several of the properties and he, therefore, did not hold good title for all of the properties he pledged. The loans that were submitted totaled more than $10 million.

    U.S. District Court Judge Stewart Dalzell scheduled a sentencing hearing for January 4, 2013. Coyle faces a maximum possible sentence of 60 years in prison, five years of supervised release, $2 million in fines, restitution to the banks, and a $200 special assessment.

    The defendant also agrees to pay restitution as directed by the court to individuals who had entered into rent-to-own, house swap, or similar ownership agreements with the defendant, or any entity controlled by the defendant, for properties that were pledged as collateral.

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