Man pleads guilty to defrauding banks, lenders

March 29, 1997|By Brenda J. Buote | Brenda J. Buote,SUN STAFF

A Potomac man pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Baltimore yesterday to charges of conspiring with a white-collar criminal in a scheme to defraud banks and mortgage lenders.

Stephen R. Kersner, 44, a former partner with the Washington law firm Ross & Hardies, pleaded guilty to conspiring with Michael H. Clott, the mastermind of a home-refinancing scheme.

According to the statement of facts presented at yesterday's hearing, Kersner forged loan documents in his parents' names and used three properties his parents then owned in New York, (( Florida and Pennsylvania as collateral. Kersner's parents were not aware of their son's fraudulent activities, prosecutors said.

The proceeds from those transactions, $397,000, were used by Kersner and Clott to cover personal expenses, court records say.

Clott, 44, is considered by FBI agents and prosecutors one of Maryland's most incorrigible white-collar criminals. Last month, he received the maximum penalty, 12 1/2 years behind bars without parole, for swindling homeowners out of millions of dollars in a home-refinancing scheme.

Kersner is scheduled to be sentenced July 14.

A third man, Robert C. Brown of Bowie, pleaded guilty March 7 to five counts of mail fraud in connection with the refinancing scheme to which Clott pleaded guilty. Brown's sentencing is scheduled for June 2.

Pub Date: 3/29/97

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