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Joseph DiValli, Jackson, New Jersey, was sentenced today to 18 months in prison for his role in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme that used phony documents and straw buyers to acquire more than $6 million in loans.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/?s=Joseph+DiValli+

From March 2011 through November 2012, DiValli and other conspirators agreed to fraudulently obtain mortgage loans for properties located in North Jersey, New Jersey. After recruiting “straw buyers” to purchase the properties, DiValli and others submitted false and fraudulent loan applications and supporting documents so the straw buyers could qualify for the loans. DiValli and others also used another conspirator, who worked at a bank, to create misleading certifications showing certain bank accounts held more money than they actually had. DiValli and other conspirators also submitted false appraisal reports, backdated deeds and used unlicensed title agents to close transactions and disburse the mortgage proceeds.

As a loan officer for a North Jersey mortgage lender, DiValli facilitated some of these fraudulent transactions, including a $244,855.26 mortgage on a property located on Smith Street, Elizabeth, New Jersey. Overall, the scheme induced lenders to issue more than $6 million in loans, resulting in several defaults and exposing lenders and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to more than $2 million in potential losses.

DiValli also admitted using a separate scheme to modify the mortgage on his personal residence. From March 2011 through June 2012, Divalli used false payroll ledgers and earnings statements to deceive a loan officer into believing that his net earnings were lower than his actual income level.

DiValli also admitted receiving income of more than $450,000 in 2012. In order to avoid taxes of $79,000, DiValli failed to file taxes for 2012 and cashed his paychecks at a check-cashing facility to conceal his income.

DiValli previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to a superseding information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, one count of wire fraud and one count of tax evasion. Judge Wigenton imposed the sentence today in Newark federal court.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Wigenton sentenced DiValli to three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $2,322,045.

U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito made the announcement and credited law enforcement agents of the FBI Newark Mortgage Fraud Task Force, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie; postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Ruth M. Mendonca; special agents of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Christina Scaringi; special agents of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Steven Perez; special agents of the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), under the direction of Special Inspector General Christy Goldsmith Romero; special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Bryant Jackson; and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Prosecutor Esther Suarez, for the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lakshmi Srinivasan Herman of the National Security Unit, Andrew Kogan of the Cyber Unit, and Senior Litigation Counsel Barbara Ward of the Asset Recovery and Money Laundering Unit.

Defense counsel: Michael A. Koribanics Esq. Clifton, New Jersey.

Nine people involved in a long-running, large-scale mortgage fraud scheme that caused losses of approximately $10 million were charged in two complaints with conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Jose Luis Salguero Bedoya, also known as Jose Salguero, 36, Elizabeth and Verona, New Jersey; Paul Chemidlin, Jr., 41, Morganville, New Jersey; Delio Coutinho, 50, Colonia, New Jersey; Joseph DiValli, 44, Jackson, New Jersey; Christopher Ju, 26, East Brunswick, New Jersey; Carmine Fusco, 44, East Hanover, New Jersey; Jose Martins, 31, Newark, New Jersey; Yazmin Soto-Cruz, also known as Yazmin Soto, 32, Elizabeth, New Jersey; and Kenneth Sweetman, 32, Lyndhurst and Nutley, New Jersey, were arrested by FBI special agents.

Salguero, Chemidlin, Coutinho, DiValli, Ju, Fusco, Martins, Soto, and Sweetman, are scheduled for initial appearances and bail hearings before U.S. Magistrate Judge Joseph A. Dickson in Newark.

According to the complaints:

From March 2008 to July 2012, the defendants engaged in multiple mortgage fraud conspiracies targeting at least 15 properties in and around Newark and Elizabeth, New Jersey. The defendants mortgage frauds took several forms, including obtaining control of properties through fraudulent short sale transactions, short sale flips, and identity theft. They submitted materially false mortgage loan documents to lenders in order to obtain loan proceeds, which the defendants then used for their own financial gain. The defendants also obtained money through various sales to straw buyers.

From March 2008 to June 2010, Salguero, Coutinho, Ju, and Soto conspired with each other and others to release liens on encumbered properties via fraudulently arranged short sale transactions. This allowed the defendants to profit from new fraudulent mortgage loans obtained on the properties from other mortgage lenders. To complete the short sale transactions, the defendants submitted materially false closing and other documents to mortgage lenders. They submitted materially false mortgage loan applications to mortgage lenders to obtain new mortgage loans on properties in and around Elizabeth, New Jersey, including a property on Fulton Street.

From March 2011 to July 2012, Salguero, Chemidlin, DiValli, Fusco, Martins, and Sweetman submitted false mortgage loan applications to mortgage lenders for a property on Smith Street, Elizabeth. The defendants submitted gift letters to mortgage lenders that falsely stated that the borrower was obtaining the funds necessary to close the real estate transaction from a relative or friend in the form of a gift, when the funds used as the borrowers’ down payments were actually provided by Salguero.

The defendants also submitted false appraisal reports in order to support inflated property values and therefore obtain mortgage loans in larger amounts. The defendants formed limited liability companies (LLCs) in the names of companies similar to those of licensed title companies in order to open bank accounts in the LLC names to conceal the defendants’ identities and to control the receipt and distribution of fraudulently obtained mortgage loan proceeds. They submitted fraudulent documents that misrepresented Salguero‘s ownership in various properties and the disposition of mortgage loan proceeds related to various transactions. The defendants then distributed fraudulently obtained mortgage loan proceeds to themselves and others and concealed those distributions by failing to include them on the HUD-1 Settlement Statements.

As a result of the mortgage fraud schemes described in the two complaints, which involved at least 15 properties, the defendants and others defrauded financial institutions out of approximately $10 million.

The defendants played different roles in the schemes. Salguero was a real estate investor who, along with his girlfriend, Soto, provided much of the funds used by the defendants to perpetuate their fraudulent schemes. Coutinho was a loan officer at a Northern New Jersey mortgage brokerage company; he submitted false documents in support of the schemes. Chemidlin provided fraudulent real estate appraisals for the defendants although he was not a licensed real estate appraiser. DiValli was a loan officer at a Northern New Jersey mortgage brokerage company who also submitted false documents in support of the schemes. Ju negotiated the fraudulent short sale real estate transactions. Fusco and Sweetman conducted fraudulent real estate closings for the defendants although they were not licensed attorneys or title agents. Martins was a bank employee who facilitated certain financial transactions for the defendants.

The criminal complaints charge each of the defendants with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, which is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1,000,000.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced the charges.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited law enforcement agents of the FBI Newark Mortgage Fraud Task Force for the investigation leading to the charges. Specifically, U.S. Attorney Fishman thanked special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge David Velazquez; postal inspectors of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Acting Inspector in Charge Maria Kelokates; special agents of the U.S. Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region of Investigations, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Cary Rubenstein; special agents of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Inspector General Steve Linick, special agents of the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP), under the direction of Special Inspector General Christy Romero; special agents of IRS–Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen; and the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office, under the direction of Acting Prosecutor Gaetano Gregory.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Lakshmi Srinivasan Herman, Aaron Mendelsohn, and Charlton Rugg of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.

This case was brought in coordination with President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

The charge and allegations contained in the complaints against each defendant are merely accusations, and the defendants are considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

A Jackson man is accused of submitting false documents as part of a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme, the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office announced in a press release. Joseph DiValli, 44, worked as a loan officer at a northern New Jersey mortgage …

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Source: Patch.com