A Bucks County real estate investor was arrested Wednesday on charges he bilked $600,000 from local banks through an elaborate mortgage-fraud scheme, federal prosecutors said.

Dean Rossi, 49, of Warrington, allegedly took out bank loans and claimed he used the money to satisfy mortgages on low-income properties he owned in Philadelphia. But he instead pocketed much of the money, according to the 14-page indictment.

Rossi allegedly got away with the scheme for six years, in part, because he worked with title and closing agents who falsified settlement records, authorities say. He also continued to pay some of the older mortgages to keep the fraud going, the indictment said.

If convicted, Rossi faces up to nearly five years in prison and a fine of up to $4 million.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI. Rossi lacked an attorney at the time of his arraignment and was released on his own recognizance, the U.S Attorney's Office said. He could not be reached for comment. - Ben Finley