13 Charged with Mortgage Fraud

admin —  May 29, 2009 — 6 Comments

Micah Meyers, 30, East Islip, New York, Stephen Caputo, 54, East Setauket, New York, Dawn Hughes, 37, Lindenhurst, New York, Fnu Lnu, a/k/a “Eddie Garcia,” Jakob Gearwar, 30, Brightwaters, New York, Brian Urraro, 31, Oakdale, New York, Michael Didio, 27, Bellport, New York, Daniel Hampton, 40, North Babylon, New York, Jennifer Moschitta, 26, East Islip, New York, Victor Avendano, 62, Lindenhurst, New York, Adrian Avendano, 30, Lindenhurst, New York, Janet McGuinness, 31, Lindenhurst, New York, and Liam Leavey, 30, Lindenhurst, New York, have been charged in a 15-count Indictment in connection with their roles in a sub-prime mortgage fraud scheme involving dozens of mortgages, totaling more than $10 million, on residential properties in Long Island and the New York City area.

According to the Indictment filed in Manhattan federal court:

From 2005 through 2007, the defendants, many of whom were employees of the Islip, New York, mortgage brokerage firm Bridgewater Funding, LLP, targeted residential properties, generally in the $200,000 to $500,000 range, in Long Island and the New York City area. In some instances, the defendants targeted properties whose homeowners were facing foreclosure, and fraudulently convinced them that selling their properties to the defendants would be a way to pay off their debts and “save” their homes. In other instances, the defendants identified target properties they believed could be resold quickly, or “flipped.”

To purchase the properties, the defendants, either directly or in the name of straw purchasers, submitted mortgage loan applications that contained false information regarding, for example, the applicant’s creditworthiness and intention to live in the residence. The loans thereby obtained typically exceeded the actual purchase price of the property, producing a “spread” from which the defendants profited. Straw purchasers, who were recruited via payment of substantial fees, promises of investment profits, and otherwise, were told not to worry about mortgage payments because the defendants would make the payments for several months and thereafter repurchase and/or resell the property. In fact, the defendants often failed to make mortgage payments, causing certain affected straw buyers to go into default on their mortgages.

As a result, mortgage lenders were forced either to foreclose on those properties or to re-purchase the properties from the straw buyers for less than the face amount of the loan. This often left the original homeowner (who had been promised that selling his or her home would be a way to “save” it) facing eviction. In other instances, the defendants rented the property to tenants and used the rent and other monies earned from the scheme to make mortgage payments on behalf of the straw buyers for a certain period of time before allowing the mortgages to go into default. In other instances, the defendants made mortgage payments for several months before “flipping” the property to yet another straw purchaser — who fraudulently obtained a new mortgage with the defendants’ assistance, restarting the fraudulent scheme.

Micah Meyers, Jakob Gearwar and Fnu Lnu, a/k/a “Eddie Garcia,” were loan officers employed by Bridgewater, who supervised and coordinated the recruitment of straw buyers and the submission of fraudulent loan applications and other documents to the lenders.

Brian Urraro was the office manager of Bridgewater, who supervised the loan officers and assisted them in submitting fraudulent loan applications and other documents to the lenders.

Michael Didio was a loan processor at Bridgewater, who assisted loan officers in submitting fraudulent loan applications and other documents to the lenders. Didio also acted as a straw buyer by signing and submitting fraudulent loan applications and other documents to lenders in order to obtain home mortgage loans for multiple properties within a short period of time.

Daniel Hampton falsely verified to mortgage lenders the employment information for certain straw buyers. Hampton also recruited individuals to act as straw buyers for the fraudulent scheme.

Stephen Caputo and Dawn Hughes acted as the buyers’ attorney, sellers’ attorney, and/or settlement attorney for fraudulent transactions. Caputo and Hughes knowingly assisted in closing fraudulent mortgage loans and making payments that were not disclosed to the lenders, in furtherance of the fraudulent scheme.

Victor Avendano, Adrian Avendano, Jennifer Moschitta, Janet McGuinness and Liam Leavey acted as straw buyers by signing and submitting fraudulent loan applications and other documents to lenders in order to obtain home mortgage loans for multiple properties within a short period of time, among other things.

Assistant United States Attorneys Mark D. Lanpher and Julian J. Moore are in charge of the prosecution.

The charges contained in the Indictment are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty.

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6 responses to 13 Charged with Mortgage Fraud

  1. All charges against attorney Dawn Hughes were dismissed in April of 2009. She was wrongly implicated in this case. She was not involved at all.

  2. Constandina Roux May 17, 2010 at 4:45 am

    I don’t know “ATTORNEY Dawn Hughes, of the Bridgewater Mortgage Scam, but I can tell you, “ATTORNEY” Stephen J. Caputo is as UNETHICAL as they come.

    We won a 17 Million Dollar lawsuit against him and his ex-partner Garatt Lacara and filed a formal complaint with the Suffolk County Ethics Committee. They were both found “GUILTY” and “SANCTIONED PERMANENTLY” See http://www.Hunger4justice.com

  3. Constandina Roux July 7, 2009 at 1:54 am

    Stephen Caputo has always been unethicle. He steals from widowed women and their children…It is
    proven he steals from anyone.

    See my web-site http://www.Hunger4justice.com

    Constandina Roux

  4. Constandina Roux June 21, 2009 at 8:48 pm

    My Son and I are victims of one of the Ring Leaders, Stephen Caputo.
    Mr. Caputo, is a man without a conscience. He has destroyed a good part of my life.
    Thank God my son was young enough to be able to go on with his.
    I was a widowed woman, with a 9 year old son. Mr. Caputo and his partner many years ago stole and conspired to keep all evidence and documentation regarding a Personal Injury Suit in the death of my 32 year old husband from us, in May of 1995. We won against Mr. Caputo and his partner in the Supreme Court…It took 13 YEARS, 2004. And finally got him “SANCTIONED PERMANENTLY” by the Suffolk County Ethics Committee in June of 2007. I put up a web-site telling the whole world about this man and what he has done, I wrote letters with all of the information to many of the Media outlets.
    And also told how the Lawyer Funds, let them go, even after they were found GUILTY by the Supreme Court and the Appellate Court.
    I made no bones about wanting him DISBARRED, but that didn’t happen. I thought a sanction would have protected those clients (victims) after my son and I, but it didn’t.


  6. Margaret Nolan June 4, 2009 at 5:44 pm

    Tough times made tougher by people who had the knowledge to commit acts of fraud and play out “cons”….They will need to answer for the “alleged” crimes.

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