A Glassboro man who owned and rented more than 300 homes in low-income Philadelphia neighborhoods was sentenced to 72 months in prison for a loan fraud scheme that attempted to swindle $10 million from East River Bank, Republic First Bank, and Polonia Bank.
Court documents give this account: Robert Coyle Sr., 68, borrowed money from the banks to refinance or rehabilitate properties, but pocketed some of the money. He backed the loans with first positions on mortgages on many of the houses, plus the assignment of rents, according to federal prosecutors in Philadelphia. When the loans went into default, it became clear that some of the houses that were supposed to be rented were vacant.
In other cases, Coyle had signed rent-to-own and house swap deals with the occupants of the same houses pledged as collateral. Some of the house swaps took advantage of people who were illiterate.
U.S. District Judge Stewart Dalzell in Philadelphia ordered restitution of $6,480,302.65, with some of the money going to compensate individual victims. The judge also ordered forfeiture of $10,106,200. - Jane M. Von Bergen