‘People’s Attorney’ radio show host indicted in $10 million mortgage fraud
BY KIM JANSSEN Federal Courts Reporter firstname.lastname@example.org January 28, 2013 1:34PM
Updated: March 1, 2013 7:49PM
He styles himself “The People’s Attorney” and claims 3 million listeners tune in to hear his brand of black empowerment on his nationally-syndicated radio show.
But the feds say Soul 106.3 personality Warren Ballentine is also a fraudster behind a $10 million mortgage scam.
Ballentine, whose show is also carried on WVON radio, was indicted on Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges he duped lenders by using false information to secure loans on more than two dozen homes.
The 41-year-old lawyer lives and broadcasts from Durham, N.C., but grew up on the South Side and previously lived in south suburban Country Club Hills, where he maintains a law office. His radio show is picked up by urban radio stations nationwide.
He’s charged with two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders, and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud. His indictment seeks forfeiture of nearly $9.8 million.
According to the indictment, Ballentine conspired with others to buy homes with fraudulently obtained mortgages in Chicago and suburbs including Monee, Woodridge, Mokena, Country Club Hills, Richton Park, and Markham between 2004 and 2006.
He is due in court on Feb. 5. Though he could not be reached for comment, he has posted several notes on his Facebook page in recent days that appear to refer to his legal troubles.
“Now I know for sure they have a witch hunt out for me,” he wrote in one note. “This is about to be a fight for my life. They will try and take everything from me but I will find out who my true friends are who my brothers are and who really are truthfighters and in my corner I know I’m GOD’S child!!”
In another, he posted a link to a video called the “COINTELPRO: The FBI’s War on Black America.”
In a third, he wrote, “Love me when I don’t deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.”
If convicted, he faces up to 30 years behind bars and a $1 million fine.
WVON program director Todd Ronczkowski said WVON will continue to broadcast Ballentine’s show in the 3 a.m. - 6 a.m. slot as long as it remains in syndication.