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Saturday, December 9, 2023
Courthouse News Service
Saturday, December 9, 2023 | Back issues
Courthouse News Service Courthouse News Service

Feds Duck Sanctions Over False Testimony Against Fraudster

A federal judge refused to make the government face sanctions over the false testimony elicited against a mortgage fraudster.

PITTSBURGH (CN) – A federal judge refused to make the government face sanctions over the false testimony elicited against a mortgage fraudster.

The March 9 ruling comes in ongoing proceedings connected to what prosecutors billed as the Pittsburgh area’s largest mortgage fraud.

Though the government obtained guilty pleas from each of the four players it indicted in 2013, evidence came to light last year that one of the borrowers gave false testimony at a 2015 evidentiary hearing ahead of sentencing.

Dov Ratchkauskas, described by the Pittsburgh press as one of the city’s most powerful landlords, said the government should face sanctions for eliciting false testimony and for not correcting the record.

U.S. District Judge Nora Barry Fischer rejected the motion on March 9.

The 4-page ruling that the relief Ratchkauskas seeks “can only be obtained via the express waiver of sovereign immunity set forth in the Hyde Amendment.”

To demonstrate that he is eligible for fees, however, Ratchkauskas would have to show that his net worth is less than $2 million.

Judge Fischer pointed to evidence that Ratchkauskas is “far in excess of the threshold amount,” based on the probation office’s findings, which did not even take into account the real estate giant’s “admitted ownership of foreign bank accounts.”

Furthermore, the court found, Ratchkauskas has not met the burden to show that the government’s actions justify sanctions.

The false testimony of witness Tawnya Anthony, whose last name was McCabe at the time, is laid out in a July 2016 ruling.

Based on submissions by JPMorgan Chase, the judge had said, “counsel for the government should have known the true facts concerning Ms. McCabe’s loan at the time of the hearing.”

In addition to having pleaded guilty to fraud, Ratchkauskas also last year admitted to one count of contempt of court.

A dual citizen of the United States and Israel, Ratchkauskas had tried to obtain an Israeli passport with plans to flee while out on bond in the Western District of Pennsylvania.

Ratchkaukas is represented by David Berardinelli, who did not return a call for comment.

Categories / Criminal, Government

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