Wednesday, May 10, 2017

NY AG, Brooklyn DA Bag Nine In Alleged Short Sale Ripoffs; One Duped Lender Unwittingly Agreed To Take $400K 'Haircut' In Related Party Sale Where Borrower's Sister-In-Law Ended Up Holding Title To Home

In Brooklyn, New York, the New York Daily News reports:
  • A city investigator and eight others were indicted on Monday [April 24] for orchestrating an elaborate $1 million mortgage fraud scheme from four properties in Brooklyn and Queens, prosecutors said.

    "These defendants — among them a disbarred attorney, a tax preparer, a loan originator, and a New York City investigator — allegedly engaged in an elaborate scheme to manipulate the mortgage process by using lies, sham companies and fake documents to steal millions of dollars from lending institutions," said Acting Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez.

    Brooklyn prosecutors along with investigators with the attorney general's office busted Janelle Defreitas, 37; Raymond McKayle, 53; Lester Wayne Mackey, 63; Darren Downes, 36; Jaipaul Persaud, 54; Roxanne Harmon, 51; June Whyte, 54; Rickley Gregoire, 33; and Paula Blackwood-Sambury, 50, for money laundering and other charges.

    Prosecutors said the defendants are alleged to have concealed the fact that the buyers could not afford the homes by submitting fraudulent mortgage applications showing grossly inflated incomes from fake jobs, bank accounts with fabricated balances and other false information.

    According to the investigation, which began in 2014 from a separate automobile insurance fraud case, in one of the schemes, Harmon, an investigator for the city's Department of Investigation, owed over $500,000 on her Queens home allegedly solicited Defreitas to apply for a short-sale from the mortgage company.

    The mortgage company unknowingly agreed to a $100,000 short sale to West North Capital — a sham corporation allegedly owned by Defreitas.

    Harmon's debt was reduced and Whyte, her sister-in-law, bought the property from the corporation using phony information, prosecutors said.

    Once the application went through to West North Capital, Defreitas collected almost $400,000 in the mortgage loan proceeds, prosecutors said.

    Defreitas acquired the title to properties located on Chauncy St. in Ocean Hill, Tompkins Ave. in Bushwick, Sutter Ave. in Queens and 223rd St. in Cambria Heights, Queens.
Source: NYC investigator, eight others accused in elaborate $1 million mortgage scam.

For the New York Attorney General press release, see A.G. Schneiderman, DA Gonzalez Announce The Indictments Of Nine Defendants For Stealing Over $1 Million In Mortgage Fraud Scheme (Defendants Are Alleged To Have Fraudulently Obtained Short-Sale Discounts And Loans By Submitting False Information To Mortgage Companies; Defendants Include Disbarred Attorney, Tax Preparer, New York City Department Of Investigation Investigator, And Loan Originator).

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