MERCER, Pa. (WKBN) – Charges have been filed against a Mercer County attorney and a Hermitage woman after investigators say they conspired to cause a man’s house to be turned over to the attorney.
According to a police report, the 61-year-old victim from Volant retained Attorney Dustin Cole to help him save his house from foreclosure. The victim said that Cole offered to pay off his current balance, which was under $19,000. The victim said his residence was valued at $259,000.
The victim said Cole “coerced” him into taking a high-interest loan, which he claims was at a 100% interest rate, with Jenny Laslow, who owns and operates a title settlement company in Hermitage, the report stated.
The victim said that Cole said he would hold onto the deed transfer for the house as collateral for the loan, which the victim could not pay, so Cole transferred the deed to the house to himself, the report stated.
The victim also alleges that the deed transfer was notarized without him being present.
The investigation was referred to the Pennsylvania Attorney General and charges were filed against Cole and Laslow.
Cole is facing charges of theft by deception- false impression; theft by deception-fail to correct; conspiracy and maximum lawful interest rate. Laslow is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit theft by deception. Both are awaiting a preliminary hearing scheduled for Nov. 16.
The crimes are alleged to have happened between Jan. 2020 and Dec. 2021.