Former Radio One syndicated radio talk show host Warren Ballentine has received a probation sentence for defrauding lenders out of nearly $10 million in a mortgage fraud scheme. Ballentine was accused of conspiring to secure more than two dozen fraudulent mortgage loans that bilked lenders out of almost $10 million. During his October trial, drug federal prosecutors told jurors loan applications Ballentine submitted to lenders were “shot through with lies.”
Ballentine and others allegedly used straw buyers to secure mortgages on 28 properties they never intended to live in. But during sentencing Tuesday, clinic U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly declared Ballentine a “minimal participant” in the scheme.
The Chicago Tribune says he “left a federal courthouse on Tuesday appearing grateful, ask after being sentenced to probation instead of prison time.” Ballentine said “I’m guilty, but I’m guilty of being ignorant…I’m guilty of not paying attention.”
In addition to probation, Ballentine must serve 300 hours of community service and pay $140,000 in restitution.