Throop Man Sent to Jail for Conducting Unlicensed Mortgage Business, Theft
(Source: By Denis J. O’Malley, The Times-Tribune, Scranton, Pa. (MCT) – In the eyes of the clients he provided mortgages to over several months in 2009, Timothy Tanana was a helpful professional.
But in the eyes of Lackawanna County Judge Vito P. Geroulo on Tuesday, the 43-year-old Throop man was simply a “con man.”
When it came time for Mr. Tanana to speak for himself before receiving a sentence of 11 to 23½ months in Lackawanna County Prison for theft and conducting unlicensed mortgage business, the Varsity Drive resident dwelled on his mounting bills and gambling addiction.
Judge Geroulo, however, pointed out that Mr. Tanana appeared to be trying to “smooth” him just as he had the 17 clients he persuaded to pay a total of $53,137.58 to him in fees – while he was already making a $160,000 salary.
“Robin Hood took from the rich and gave to the poor, but he was still a thief,” Judge Geroulo said. “You were taking other people’s money.”
According to the grand jury presentment that recommended charging Mr. Tanana in September, he had secured a conditional mortgage originator license in January 2009, which allowed him to meet with clients, take their application mortgage and quote rates for them.
But when the license was processed, the Department of Banking noticed Mr. Tanana had a prior felony conviction that would prevent him from getting a license, according to the presentment.
So authorities made a deal with him. He could voluntarily turn in that conditional license, and the Department of Banking would not only let him continue to work for WF&K Mortgage Inc. in Dunmore, but he could even reapply for that license.
Mr. Tanana turned the license in, effective March 23, 2009, but then went on to originate 39 mortgages between March 24, 2009, and January 2010.
The con came in with the customers Mr. Tanana sought out: those who had either been denied a loan previously from another institution or who were simply desperate for a loan, typically the elderly or very young, according to the presentment.
Once he reeled them in with mortgages he was not licensed to originate in the first place, Mr. Tanana would privately bill them for non-existent fees, once telling a client that the payment would get them a better interest rate, according to the presentment.
“He doesn’t come after you with a knife or a gun. He comes after you with a smile and a handshake,” said Lackawanna County First Assistant District Attorney Bob Klein, who prosecuted the case.
Mr. Klein also said that if there are any other victims of Mr. Tanana that authorities are not yet aware of, they should contact the DA’s office at 963-6717.
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