Warren Ballentine who calls himself, “The People’s Attorney” and formats his show around the premise of community empowerment, community organization, economic independence, and building knowledge has a long road ahead of him with the legal system and not in the fashion he finds most comfortable.
Ballentine, who grew up on the south side of Chicago, can be heard on Chicago’s Soul 106.3 and 37 other markets via his Radio-One syndicated show. Apparently he is not only a community activist but, he is also possibly a fraudster behind a $10 million mortgage scam according to the feds. Ballentine was indicted on Thursday by a federal grand jury on charges he duped lenders by using false information to secure loans on more than two dozen homes.
The 41-year-old lawyer lives and broadcasts from Durham, N.C., but he maintains a law office in the Chicago south suburb, Country Club Hills. He’s charged with two counts of bank fraud, two counts of making false statements to lenders, and one count each of mail fraud and wire fraud. His indictment seeks forfeiture of nearly $9.8 million. According to the indictment, Ballentine conspired with others to buy homes with fraudulently obtained mortgages in Chicago and suburbs including Mokena, Monee,Country Club Hills, Woodridge, Richton Park, and Markham between 2004 and 2006. Mr. Ballentine is due in court on Feb. 5.
Warren has stayed away from the press since the indictment but he has posted several notes on his Facebook page in recent days that appear to refer to his legal troubles.
“Now I know for sure they have a witch hunt out for me,” he wrote in one note. “This is about to be a fight for my life. They will try and take everything from me but I will find out who my true friends are who my brothers are and who really are truthfighters and in my corner I know I’m GOD’S child!!“ The syndicated host also posted a link to a video called the “COINTELPRO: The FBI’s War on Black America,” which seemed to be an obvious subliminal message regarding his situation. He also posted another comment saying, “Love me when I don’t deserve it, because that’s when I really need it.“
If convicted, Warren Ballentine faces up to 30 years behind bars and a $1 million fine. We will stay tuned and see how this plays out. Whatever happens, may the truth prevail.
If Mr. Ballentine is convicted of these crimes does that negate all the good he has done for the community prior to this? If he is found innocent, will his reputation and credibility be damaged for the remainder of his career and/or life?