CHICAGO (STMW) — A federal judge spared “The People’s Attorney” from prison Tuesday. Now prosecutors say that was a mistake.
A jury convicted Warren Ballentine in October on six counts connected to a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme. On Tuesday, U.S. District Judge Matthew Kennelly sentenced Ballentine to three years of probation and 300 hours of community service.
But Assistant U.S. Attorney Jason Yonan filed a motion Wednesday claiming a defendant found guilty of Ballentine’s crimes “may not be sentenced to a term of probation,” the Chicago Sun-Times is reporting.
Yonan called Ballentine’s sentence “incorrect.”
“There are other ways in which the court can impose a similar sentence against defendant if it is so inclined,” Yonan wrote in the motion seeking to correct Ballentine’s sentence.
Ballentine, a former Soul 106.3 personality, must also pay more than $140,000 in restitution.
Evidence at trial showed the Chicago State University graduate and others used straw buyers to secure mortgages on 28 properties they never intended to live in. In some cases, it showed he attended closings for the same phony purchasers at two different properties within three days of each other, each time telling the straw buyers to lie on their mortgage forms.
Fraudulent loan applications helped Ballentine and his co-conspirators buy homes in Chicago and suburbs including Monee, Woodridge, Mokena, Country Club Hills, Richton Park and Markham between 2004 and 2006.
During Ballentine’s sentencing hearing Tuesday, the judge declared Ballentine a “minimal participant” in the scheme. And Ballentine underscored that comment for reporters as he left court.
“I was portrayed as the one doing all this,” Ballentine said. “And I wasn’t.”
(Source: Sun-Times Media Wire © Chicago Sun-Times 2015. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed.)