SCRANTON – The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Pennsylvania announced today that Ignacio Beato, age 46, of Hazleton, Pennsylvania, was charged in a one count criminal information on April 26, 2017, with conspiracy to engage in monetary transactions through a financial institution, with funds that were the proceeds of wire fraud.
According to United States Attorney Bruce D. Brandler, the information alleges that Beato, who was a licensed realtor, and his coconspirators, engaged in interstate wire communications and Beato falsely represented to potential purchasers that he was authorized to sell vacant conventional and Federal Housing Administration insured mortgaged properties in Hazleton, when in fact, he did not have such authority.
The information further alleges that Beato solicited and accepted money in the total amount of $751,082 from individuals who believed they were purchasing properties. Beato and his coconspirators fraudulently converted that money to their own personal use.
The United States also filed a plea agreement, which is subject to the approval of the Court, wherein it is indicated that Beato intends to plead guilty to the charges when he appears in federal court for his arraignment.
The case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service, the Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General, the Department of Homeland Security, the Pennsylvania State Police, and the Luzerne County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorney Jenny P. Roberts is prosecuting the case.
Indictments and Criminal Informations are only allegations. All persons charged are presumed to be innocent unless and until found guilty in court.
A sentence following a finding of guilt is imposed by the Judge after consideration of the applicable federal sentencing statutes and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines.
The maximum penalty under federal law for this offense is 10 years of imprisonment, a term of supervised release following imprisonment, and a fine. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the Judge is also required to consider and weigh a number of factors, including the nature, circumstances and seriousness of the offense; the history and characteristics of the defendant; and the need to punish the defendant, protect the public and provide for the defendant’s educational, vocational and medical needs. For these reasons, the statutory maximum penalty for the offense is not an accurate indicator of the potential sentence for a specific defendant.