Dozens Protest Alleged Banking Fraud in Berks County, Pa.

As written in the media, the “fraud” is always “alleged”…

SEP 29, 2015 6:49am ETRELATED

About 100 people gathered outside the Berks County Services Center on Friday to protest alleged banking fraud in home foreclosure cases.

The local protest centered on an active foreclosure case involving Pastor Efrain Ortiz.

Ortiz, pastor of Reading Church of God, 123 N. Sixth St., is facing a foreclosure on his Sinking Spring home.

Ortiz said the foreclosure is for defaulting on his mortgage, but he claims he doesn’t have a mortgage for his home and has been fighting the case for six years.

Ortiz reached out to advocate Mickey Paoletta from Harrisburg to help with his case and the men worked together to organize Friday’s protest.

Many in the group were from Berks, protesting in support of the pastor. They wore black T-shirts emblazoned with red stop signs to emphasize the need to stop banking fraud and held signs about banking fraud, judicial corruption and specifically against Senior Judge Linda K.M. Ludgate, who is presiding over Ortiz’s case.

“This is an effort to get together to fight for our rights and to fight to stop bank fraud,” Ortiz said.

Court officials were unavailable for comment.

Paoletta said he has been raising awareness about fraud in the banking system since 1988 with his group, Citizen’s Reform Center, which is now represented in 42 states.

“I think it’s a disgrace what they are doing to him,” Paoletta said of Ortiz’s case, adding that the pastor has fed thousands of homeless people through the years. “The American people need to wake up and stop this fraud before they completely destroy our country.”

Chris Inch from Lebanon County and Pastor Wayne Sedlak from Wisconsin joined the protestors, saying they have similar foreclosure cases.


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