(Original post 1-31-08)
In Cumberland County, Pennsylvania, The Patriot News
- Former midstate banker Constantine "Dean" Gekas' scheme to cheat an elderly West Shore couple out of their home fell apart in a Cumberland County courtroom Monday. Moments before he was to be tried on fraud charges, Gekas pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking and two counts of false swearing in exchange for a 2-year probation sentence. The plea deal struck with Senior Assistant District Attorney Daniel Sodus also requires Gekas, 44, [...], to sign over the East Pennsboro Twp. home he tried to steal from the late Chester and Lois Jasek. Sodus said the deal is designed to make the Jasek estate financially whole.
- Investigators said the Jaseks unwittingly signed the deed to their home over to Gekas [...] in July 2004 when he provided them with a $103,000 personal loan. At the time, the value of the Jaseks' home [...] was conservatively estimated at $260,000, Sodus said.
- Sodus said the fraud began when the Jaseks sought a bill consolidation loan through Integrity Bancorp Mortgage Co., where Gekas was a loan officer. Their loan request was approved, Sodus said, but Gekas told the couple it had been denied. Gekas then told them he could provide a loan, Sodus said. He said that while closing on that loan, Gekas had [Mr. & Mrs.] Jasek, who were in their late 70s and early 80s, respectively, sign the deed over to him. Only later did the Jaseks, who had to pay $500 a month on the loan, realize Gekas owned their house, Sodus said.
- Investigators said [Mr.] Jasek sent Gekas a $103,000 check to try to pay off the loan in April 2005, but Gekas refused to accept it. The Jaseks stopped making the loan payments, and Gekas filed a landlord-tenant action to evict them.
- Sodus said the false swearing charges are based on statements Gekas made during hearings on that civil complaint [...] during which he denied trying to deceive the Jaseks. The plea deal requires Gekas to sign over the house to a third party to be chosen by the district attorney's office, who will sell the property, Sodus said.
- He said Gekas, who said he now works for a financial firm in Scottsdale, Ariz., will receive $98,000 from the sale to satisfy some liens against the house. Defense lawyer George Matangos said Gekas must pay off an additional $60,000 in liens. All remaining sale proceeds will go to the Jasek estate, which is pursuing a lawsuit against Gekas, Sodus said.
Reportedly, between the time of the July, 2004 scam and the time of Gekas' sentencing, the elderly Mr. and Mrs. Jasek passed away. For the story, see Man takes deal for probation in house theft (no longer available online).
See also, Former banker pleads guilty in fraud case.
For more on Dean Gekas, see (March 2. 2008) Council approves plan for luxury apartments (no longer available online):
- In May 2006, the council approved a $2.5 million plan for five 4,000-square-foot town homes that project developers Constantine "Dean" Gekas and Scott Kuhn expected to sell in the $650,000 price range. But then Gekas, formerly of Wormleysburg, was charged with defrauding an elderly couple of their West Shore home. In January, Gekas pleaded guilty to theft by unlawful taking and two counts of false swearing in Cumberland County Court. He was sentenced to 2 years' probation.
According to the story, Gekas still has to fork over $60K as part of his criminal case. Since he is now on probation, and reportedly working for a "financial firm" and living in Arizona, a state with many elderly retirees, let's keep our fingers crossed and hope this guy doesn't scam another elderly couple to come up with the $60K.
Go here , here , here , and here for other posts on elder financial abuse.
Go here and go here for other posts on deed theft by forgery, swindle, etc. deed theft yahtzee whale foreclosure rescue