Feds sue Poland man to recoup restitution


Staff report

YOUNGSTOWN

The U.S. attorney wants a federal judge to void two real-estate transfers made by a Poland man in what the government says was a fraudulent attempt to evade his restitution obligation.

The U.S. attorney filed the civil complaint against William Helbley, , who was sentenced in a criminal case last year to serve three years’ probation and to make $381,827 in restitution. Helbley had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud in a complex investment scheme involving falsely inflated appraisals and more than $7.5 million in mortgage loans.

Also named as defendants in the civil suit are Helbley’s wife, Mary Ann, and a corporation named MAHQ LLC, which the couple owns.

Between his plea and sentencing, Helbley transferred to his wife his half-interest in their Olde Winter Trail residence to prevent the restitution lien from attaching to that property, the government said.

In that same time frame and for the same purpose, Helbley transferred a property on Medford Avenue in Youngstown from his sole ownership to MAHQ LLC, Alex Rokakis, an assistant U.S. attorney, said in his complaint.

The matter is assigned to U.S. District Judge Benita Y. Pearson in Youngstown.

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