Ohio Supreme Court suspends law license of Poland man

COLUMBUS — The Ohio Supreme Court has indefinitely suspended the law license of William C. Helbley Jr. of Poland and referred the matter to the Mahoning County Bar Association for investigation and commencement of disciplinary proceedings.

The top court took the action today after a federal judge in January sentenced Helbley to three years’ probation, with the first eight months under house arrest, after his guilty plea to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Helbley was charged in a major mortgage-fraud case involving 48 Mahoning Valley houses, most of which went into foreclosure.

Federal prosecutors said Helbley was engaged in a complex investment scheme involving falsely inflated appraisals and more than $7.5 million in mortgage loans.

U.S. District Judge Patricia A. Gaughan ordered Helbley to perform 50 hours of community service and to contribute 10 percent of his gross monthly income toward $381,827 in restitution he and several other defendants are jointly responsible for.

Court papers show seven out-of-state victim companies suffered a combined loss of more than $1 million during the conspiracy, which operated between July 2003 and January 2006.

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