Real estate rip-off? Richland Township man accused of attempting to scam his way into $5M
ALLEGHENY COUNTY, Pa. — Police said a man made up a fake email account, bank statements and wire transfers, posed as a local attorney and tried to trick his own real estate agent and the homeowners so he could scam his way into a mansion worth $5 million.
Timothy Bierly is accused of attempting to pull off a major real estate scheme in the North Hills.
The owners of a Richland Township estate were trying to sell their home last summer.
Northern Regional Police said Bierly took a tour of the home with a real estate agent and lied to the owners and his agent that he could afford it and buy it with cash, claiming he just sold his business in Florida for $52 million.
He claimed his title attorney would wire the owners the down payment for about $50,000.
“We believe he made up an email account with her name and sending his real estate agent and homeowner emails, posing as the attorney,” said Chief John Sicilia with Northern Regional Police Dept.
The police chief John Sicilia said Bierly was posing as the title attorney the entire time, allegedly using the name Kathleen Schneider who is an attorney in Pittsburgh.
When Bierly was pretending to be Schneider, he kept delaying the closing of the home.
“They would have a date set for the home inspection, do the walk throughs, whenever they would have the closing and everything kept getting postponed, and made the homeowner suspicious,” said Sicilia.
The homeowner then went to Schneider’s law office, who had no idea of what was going on.
Schneider sent Channel 11 a statement saying:
“It is my understanding that my name and a fake email address were used in connection with an attempted fraudulent real estate transaction by someone allegedly named Tim Bierly. Thankfully, the potential victim caught on and did not proceed with the transaction. I had no knowledge that my name was being used to commit the alleged fraud until I was contacted by the potential victim.”
The homeowner got Northern Regional Police involved and police also found falsified wire transfers and bank statements from Bierly.
“The documents were very believable this guy was very good at expressing himself and very convincing,” said Sicilia.
Police were able to catch Bierly in Rhode Island on Friday.
“He was just picked up in Rhode Island where he was facing unrelated criminal charges in that town and notified the authorities up there that we had the warrant so now he’s in custody,” said Sicilia.
Bierly is facing charges including forgery and criminal attempted theft by deception.
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