- Associated Press - Friday, September 19, 2014

PHILADELPHIA (AP) - An accountant was sentenced Friday to 3 1/3 years in federal prison for his role in a conspiracy to defraud a financial services company that was targeted for takeover by an organized crime family.

A federal judge also ordered Howard Drossner of Ambler to pay a $125,000 fine. Drossner previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The Justice Department says the 53-year-old certified public accountant conspired to defraud Texas-based FirstPlus Financial Group Inc.

Prosecutors say Drossner falsified tax returns in 2008 to help Nicodemo Scarfo of the Lucchese organized crime family and his then-fiancee obtain financing for a $715,000 house in New Jersey.

The false tax returns exaggerated the income of Scarfo’s fiancee and helped her qualify for a $500,000 mortgage, and Scarfo used money looted from First Plus for the $215,000 down payment, prosecutors said. After the FirstPlus scheme was shut down in 2008, Scarfo was unable to pay the mortgage and the bank sold the house in 2010, they said.

Scarfo and three others were convicted of offenses that included racketeering and conspiracy. They are awaiting sentencing, the department said.

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