Jefferson Hills woman gets prison for multimillion-dollar fraud
A Jefferson Hills woman told a federal judge on Thursday that her insecurities led her to help her brother commit a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud and lie about threats to her husband, a federal drug enforcement agent.
“I needed to feel acceptance,” Kimberly Baldwin told U.S. District Judge Joy Flowers Conti.
Baldwin, 46, pleaded guilty to making a false statement to the government and asked for an immediate sentence on that charge and her prior guilty plea to wire fraud.
Conti sentenced her to one year, seven months in prison, one year of probation and ordered her to pay restitution of $10,600 to the Drug Enforcement Administration. The judge ordered her to help pay a total of $22,400 in restitution to the 56 people who filed victim impact statements in the mortgage fraud case.
Baldwin said she agreed to prepare fraudulent appraisals in the mortgage scheme so that her brother, Lewis Whoolery, and her parents would approve of her.
Instead, her brother broke off contact in 2008 after their mother died, and her father severed their relationship after she testified against him this year, she said.
A federal jury in January convicted Whoolery, 44, of Delray Beach, Fla., and formerly of Port Vue, of wire fraud. Conti sentenced him on Oct. 9 to 10 years in prison, three years of probation and ordered him to pay $1.7 million in restitution.
The government estimated that Whoolery caused banks to issue more than $100 million in fraudulent loans.
The strain caused by waiting for her own sentencing on the mortgage fraud caused her to lie to her husband about someone threatening his life, Baldwin said.
“I only meant for the lie to remain between my husband and myself,” she said.
Baldwin remains free on a $10,000 unsecured bond until she reports to prison. She and her lawyer declined comment after the hearing.
Brian Bowling is a staff writer for Trib Total Media.