6 Mortgage Fraudsters Sent to Prison for Equity Stripping

Allison Tussey —  April 3, 2013 — Leave a comment

Six of seven defendants indicted in connection with the CDC Investments mortgage fraud scheme have been sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker.

Eric Williams, a real estate agent, was sentenced to 12 months in prison.

CDC cofounder Aaron Teachout was sentenced to 51 months in prison.

Isaac Modert, another founding member CDC, was sentenced to 60 months in prison.

Rick Artibee, a mortgage loan officer, was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Dennis Sare, a title and closing agent, was sentenced to 15 months in prison.

Nichole Buda, a mortgage borrower, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The seventh defendant, Mario Giannandrea, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, 2013.

In most cases, the defendants received a reduced sentence from Judge Jonker because they had provided information to federal investigators about mortgage fraud in the Lansing, Michigan area.

As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, the fraud scheme alleged in the August 2, 2012, indictment charged the defendants with engaging in an equity stripping scheme involving approximately 35 homes. In the scheme, banks would be asked to finance sham real estate purchases that were designed to extract funds from lenders, which would then be split up among the participants in the scheme to be used for their own benefit. The mortgages were not paid and went into foreclosure, resulting in losses of over three million dollars since the lenders were only able to recover a fraction of the outstanding mortgage balances when they sold the properties after foreclosure.

U.S. Attorney Pat Miles announced the sentences.

This prosecution was brought by the Mortgage Fraud Task Force, made up of investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Secret Service, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, and the Lansing Police Department. Prosecution of the case is assigned to Timothy VerHey and Ronald Stella, Assistant United States Attorneys.

Allison Tussey

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