(Source: By Borys Krawczeniuk, The Citizens’ Voice, Wilkes-Barre, Pa. (MCT) Former Lackawanna County Commissioner Robert C. Cordaro officially no longer owns his luxurious Dunmore home, which is back on the market at an asking price well below what he paid for it.
Fidelity Deposit & Discount Bank, which gained control of the mortgage through a series of previous transactions, bought the 6,100-square-foot home at 57 Tiffany Drive at a county sheriff’s sale June 12. The bank paid only $4,853 in county taxes and county sheriff’s costs at a sheriff’s sale, but holds an unsatisfied mortgage worth more than 160 times that much.
The new deed putting ownership of the property in the bank’s name was not officially recorded until Tuesday.
Cordaro bought the home for $700,000 in March 2006, but by the time the bank submitted the property for the sheriff’s sale he owed $1.42 million, which included unpaid principal and interest on the mortgage, late charges, an attorney’s collection fee and other fees and costs.
The bank is trying to sell the property for $499,900 through Century 21/Jack Ruddy Real Estate.
The bank’s takeover ends a murky and unsavory chapter in the home’s existence, one exposed during the federal corruption trial of Cordaro and fellow former Commissioner A.J. Munchak.
Both men were convicted of extortion and other counts in June of last year. In January, Senior U.S. District Judge A. Richard Caputo sentenced Cordaro to 11 years and Munchak to seven years in federal prison.
The home served as a key part of the case against Cordaro, who tried to convince the man who sold him the home to put the mortgage Cordaro took out to pay for it in the seller’s name. Cordaro also had a deed recording the sale filed showing it sold for $350,000 rather than the actual $700,000 price tag and waited more than two years to file the deed with the county recorder of deeds.
A witness said Cordaro wanted the delay in recording the deed so it wouldn’t come before his and Munchak’s 2007 re-election campaign, but Cordaro lost the 2007 election anyway.
Cordaro also wanted the home’s furniture and negotiated a $150,000 sale price for that, paying partly with $50,000 in cash he handed over in a red cardboard box, the witness testified.
At his trial, Cordaro testified he did business mostly in cash after reading a book recommending that, but prosecutors used the home purchase, the box of cash and other evidence to show Cordaro was a man living beyond the means of a $76,000-a-year commissioner.
©2012 The Citizens’ Voice (Wilkes-Barre, Pa.)
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