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Former Westmoreland clerk charged with altering mortgage records to hide pending foreclosure

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Wednesday, April 30, 2014, 12:01 a.m.
 

A former clerk in the Westmoreland County prothonotary's office has been charged with tampering with records involving her mortgage foreclosure, a property she and her attorney husband owed nearly $250,000 on in 2013, state investigators said.

Nadine Greiner, 48, of Unity will be arraigned on Thursday on charges of criminal use of a communication facility, unlawful use of a computer, computer trespass, tampering with records, tampering with public records and obstruction of law.

Greiner, who was hired as a clerk in July 2012, altered names on the mortgage documents eight times in 2013 in an attempt to hide the pending foreclosure on the Charter Oak property, said investigators from the state attorney general's office. She allegedly used other people's names or reverted documents into her own name.

Authorities became aware the records had been altered after Nationstar Mortgage filed a lawsuit to foreclose in May 2013 in the prothon­otary's office, according to court papers.

In June 2013, a title searcher working for Nationstar checked on that foreclosure using the name “Greiner” to search and was unable to find any records, investigators said.

The title searcher then checked under the case number and found Greiner's case under the name “Grossman,” according to court records.

The title searcher contacted Prothonotary Christina O'Brien, who determined the case names were changed four times between May and June 2013, investigators said.

O'Brien contacted county detectives. Greiner allegedly confessed to changing the records and said she was sorry during questioning by county Detective Tom Horan in June 2013, according to court papers.

“Greiner stated she was embarrassed that the lawsuit was filed and was concerned that one or more of her co-workers would find out about it,” investigators said.

Horan couldn't be reached for comment.

The county district attorney's office turned the case over to state investigators in June 2013.

The foreclosure action has since been settled, and the couple's mortgage is now current, said Bill McCabe, Nadine Greiner's attorney.

“Nadine is a loving wife and mother,” McCabe said. “While employed at the office of the prothonotary, she was a conscientious and valuable employee. But importantly, the commonwealth does not allege in the complaint and affidavit that any person or business lost money or sustained any other financial injury, nor did such occur.”

Greiner made the changes via a work computer, police said.

In June 2013, O'Brien fired Greiner, according to court records.

Her husband, John K. Greiner, who is a former county assistant district attorney and has presided over inquests for the county coroner, did not return telephone calls seeking comment. He has not been charged.

The county controller's office did an audit at O'Brien's request and discovered eight changes to the records between January and June 2013, investigators said.

O'Brien declined to discuss the case specifically.

She did say she has taken steps to prevent illegal changes to records retained by her office, where more than 1 million computer entries are made annually.

“We check the security logs daily to make sure there are no changes to the records. That's what we do now to make sure,” O'Brien said.

“I also implemented a policy that any legal filings that come into the prothonotary office concerning my staff and/or my staff's family members, the filings are to be brought immediately into my office so that management can personally enter them into the computer. Failure to do so will result in immediate termination,” O'Brien added.

Bob Stiles is a staff writer for Trib Total Media. He can be reached at 724-836-6622 or bstiles@tribweb.com.

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