Woman pleads guilty to fraud in acquiring $437K loan

A woman who used a fraudulently-acquired military status and forged bank statements to buy a York County home has pleaded guilty in federal court to
wire fraud.

Caitlin Lucille Walls Smith, 37, formerly of Wilmington, N.C., faces up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

Smith was indicted in February by a federal grand jury in Harrisburg on allegations she applied for a position as an officer in the nuclear program of the United States Navy in July 2008 and claimed to have a Masters of Science in Chemistry from Duke University, a Doctor of Philosophy in Chemical Engineering and a Doctor of Philosophy in Environmental Engineering from the University of Delaware, even though she never completed her college education, according to federal prosecutors.

She was accepted into the nuclear program and applied for a U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs-backed loan in September 2010. As part of the loan application process, Smith submitted forged and fraudulent bank statements and documents that were purportedly from the U.S. Navy, prosecutors said.

In November 2010, PNC Bank approved Smith's loan and wire transferred the loan amount of $437,423.92 from Kentucky to the defendant's title company account at Metro Bank in Lemoyne, prosecutors said.

In 2010, she was court-martialed by the Navy for false representations relating to her enlistment and is currently serving her sentence.

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