2 Charged for Mortgage Fraud Ponzi Scheme

Allison Tussey —  August 22, 2011 — Leave a comment

Loronda Murphy, North Castle, New York, and Scott Forcino, New Rochelle, New York, have been charged for their roles in a mortgage fraud Ponzi scheme.

From April 2009 to June 2009, operating under the home mortgage closing company Settle One Corporation, the defendants, Loronda Murphy and real estate attorney Scott Forcino, engaged in what amounted to a home mortgage fraud “Ponzi” scheme.

The targeted homeowner/victims each took out a new mortgage on their home through Settle One Corporation with the understanding that real estate attorney Scott Forcino would oversee their closing and that money from their new mortgage would pay off their pre-existing mortgage.

However, Forcino instead allowed Murphy to fraudulently assume the role of attorney for each closing, and, much to the homeowner’s surprise, rather than paying off their pre-existing mortgage, Murphy instead stole portions of their new loan money and left their pre-existing mortgage unpaid.

Murphy‘s theft then left the homeowner with the unsustainable burden of having multiple mortgages on their family home at one time.

Over this time period the pair defrauded five victims including Murphy‘s father.

In addition to skimming money out of the Settle One Corporation bank account for her own personal benefit, Murphy also attempted to conceal her crimes by using money left in the Settle One bank account to make monthly mortgage payments on various unpaid mortgages and, in some cases, Murphy even stole one homeowner’s new mortgage loan money and used it to pay off another homeowner’s previously unpaid mortgage.

In the three months, beginning in April of 2009 and ending in June of 2009, Murphy orchestrated the preparation and submission of a series of false mortgage documents in connection with five mortgage loan closings that resulted in her, through the Settle One bank account, receiving over one million dollars from two home mortgage lenders: Wells Fargo Bank and Live Well Financial.

In turn, Murphy then stole over fifty thousand dollars in loan money from each of five Westchester County homeowners, including her own elderly father, all for her own personal financial gain and to cover up her continuing criminal activity.

In September 2010, search warrants were executed leading to an eleven month investigation by the District Attorney’s office with the assistance of the Town of North Castle Police Department.

Bail for Murphy was set at $100,000 bond. Bail for Forcino was set at $5,000 cash. Their next court appearance will be on September 15th, 2011.

Murphy faces a maximum of five to twenty five years in state prison on the top count of her indictment.

Forcino faces a maximum of fifteen months to four years in state prison on the top count of his indictment.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Fitzgerald of the Public Integrity Bureau ““ Mortgage Fraud Unit is prosecuting the case.

“This type of criminal activity is what contributed to the general collapse of the nation’s residential housing market. These defendants, one a former Town political leader and the other an Officer of the Court, built a corrupt enterprise abusing the lending process and defrauding their victims,” said District Attorney Janet DiFiore after the defendants were arraigned. “The scheme carried out by these defendants, solely for their own personal financial gain, not only harmed the targeted individuals and lending institutions, but also had the potential to undermine the housing market in the areas where they operated their scheme.”

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Allison Tussey

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