Archives For Stephanie Abbott

The first Filipina judge in Cook County broke down in sobs in a federal courtroom Thursday before being sentenced to a year in prison for her role in a $1.4 million mortgage fraud scheme that occurred years before she took the bench.

Source: Ex-judge given 1 year in prison for mortgage fraud scheme: ‘I’m an embarrassment!’ – Chicago Tribune

Kevin Morgan, 42, Pittsford, New York, pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, which carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a fine of $250,000.

Between March 2011 and June 2017, the defendant, along with co-defendants Todd Morgan, Frank Giacobbe, Patrick Ogiony, and others, conspired to defraud financial institutions, including UBS Securities LLC, Arbor Commercial Mortgage LLC, and Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, LLC

Kevin Morgan was employed as a Vice President at Morgan Management, LLC, a real estate management company that managed more than 100 multi-family properties.  Todd Morgan also was employed by Morgan Management as a Project Manager. Kevin and Todd Morgan worked with Frank Giacobbe, who owned and operated Aurora Capital Advisors, LLC, a mortgage brokerage company, and Patrick Ogiony, an Aurora employee, to secure financing for properties managed by Morgan Management or certain principals of Morgan Management.

Kevin Morgan and his co-defendants provided false information to financial institutions and government sponsored enterprises that overstated incomes of properties managed by Morgan Management or certain principals of Morgan Management. This resulted in the financial institutions issuing loans for larger amounts than the financial institutions would have authorized had they been provided with truthful information.

The defendants misled the financial institutions regarding the occupancy of properties. For example, Kevin Morgan: conspired to provide false rent rolls to lenders and appraisers on a variety of dates, overstating either the number of renters in a property and/or the rent paid by occupants; conspired to provide false and inflated income statements for the properties; and worked with others to deceive inspectors into believing that unoccupied apartments were, in fact, occupied.

In one such instance, Kevin Morgan and his co-defendants provided false information to Berkadia Commercial Mortgage, LLC, in connection with Rochester Village Apartments at Park Place, a multi-family residential community owned by certain Morgan Management principals. The false information included inflated income derived from storage unit rentals, inflated reports of rental income, and reporting apartment units as occupied before certificates of occupancy were obtained for those units.

In addition, Kevin Morgan and his co-defendants made misrepresentations to conceal from the lending financial institutions that Morgan Management used a portion of the loan proceeds for purposes other than that disclosed in the loan application. Loan funding was used to maintain or improve other properties managed by Morgan Management, and to satisfy debts associated with other properties managed by Morgan Management. For example, the defendants included a fictitious $2.5 million debt in a loan application purportedly owed to a Morgan Management controlled entity and created a fabricated payoff letter for that debt to increase the amount of the loan in connection with a property known as Autumn Ridge.

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy, Jr. made the announcement.

History has shown us the havoc that can be wrought when fraud takes place in the mortgage industry,” noted U.S. Attorney Kennedy. “This investigation, and today’s plea, protect that industry from fraud and those who invest in securities which are backed by mortgages.

From day one, our investigation has focused on protecting the residential and commercial financing industry,” said Gary Loeffert, Special Agent-in-Charge of the FBI’s Buffalo Division. “With Kevin Morgan’s plea today, we have advanced our efforts to safeguard the tens of thousands of investors who own mortgage-backed securities.

Robert Manchak, Acting Special Agent in Charge for the Northeast Region of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, said, “The financing of multifamily loans is a significant segment of Fannie Mae’s and Freddie Mac’s portfolio.  As our commitment to this case demonstrates, FHFA-OIG will work with our partners in law enforcement to investigate and hold accountable those who subject the entities regulated by FHFA to fraud, waste, or abuse.

Charges are pending against defendants Frank Giacobbe, Patrick Ogiony, and Todd Morgan. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

Today’s plea is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Robert Manchak, Northeast Region.

Sentencing will be scheduled at a later date before Judge Wolford.

Edward Sypher, Jr., 41, Scarsdale, New York, formerly the Chief Financial Officer of Long Island mortgage lender Vanguard Funding, LLC (Vanguard), was sentenced today to 18 months’ imprisonment to be followed by three years’ supervised release for conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud in connection with the diversion of warehouse loans that Vanguard had fraudulently obtained purportedly to fund home mortgages and mortgage refinancing.

Vanguard was a 33-branch, mortgage lending institution licensed in California, Connecticut, Florida, Georgia, Maryland, Massachusetts, North Carolina, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington.  Between August 2015 and March 2017, Sypher and his co-conspirators at Vanguard engaged in a multi-million dollar fraud scheme by falsely representing that the loan proceeds would fund specific mortgages, or refinance specific mortgages, for Vanguard clients.  Instead, Sypher and his co-conspirators diverted the funds to pay personal expenses and compensation, and to pay off loans they had previously obtained through fraudulent loan applications. http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/top-executives-plead-guilty-8-9-million-warehouse-loan-fraud/

The amount of restitution will be determined by the Court at a later date.  Sypher was also ordered to pay $22,150.45 in forfeiture.

On December 10, 2018, Matthew T. Voss, Vanguard’s former Chief Operating Officer, was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment for his role in the scheme.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Maria T. Vullo, Superintendent, New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), announced the sentence.

Edward Sypher, Jr., has been punished for deceiving his banking partners in order to divert millions of dollars to his own benefit and that of other Vanguard executives,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office, working hand-in-hand with our law enforcement partners, will continue to vigorously investigate and prosecute business executives who choose to commit fraud as a means of getting ahead at the expense of the businesses and residents of our district.

When fraudsters treat investors like their own personal ATMs, using funds invested in good faith to line their own pockets, pay for personal expenses, and repay other fraudulent loans, confidence in the integrity of our financial systems suffers,” stated FBI Assistant-Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “Thanks to the diligent work of the FBI and our partners, Sypher will be held accountable for his crimes.”

DFS is proud to have worked with the U.S. Attorney’s office and other law enforcement partners to bring this defendant to justice,” said DFS Superintendent Vullo.  “We will continue to combat the serious issue of fraud in order to safeguard the industry and protect consumers.”

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Whitman G.S. Knapp and Elizabeth Losey Macchiaverna are in charge of the prosecution.

David John Dziedzic, 55, Scottsdale, Arizona, was sentenced on December 17, 2018 to 30 months’ imprisonment for his lead role in criminal activity related to the short sale of distressed mortgages, some of which were federally-insured.

Dziedzic operated the “Housing Angels” program through his company, Real Core Realty, LLC.  He aggressively marketed a program designed to help homeowners stay in their homes following a short sale, through an undisclosed sale-leaseback program with “angel” investors.   Through this program, he typically received commissions from both the buyer and the seller in a short sale transaction. Dziedzic also recorded false secondary liens on more than 100 short sale properties to induce banks holding primary mortgages to pay off the false secondary mortgages, resulting in more than $100,000 in illegal profits as a result of the scheme.

Dziedzic’s wife, Heather Hamilton Dziedzic, 43, pleaded guilty to a related misdemeanor charge, and was also sentenced for her role in the offense.  She will also surrender her real estate license.  She received a two-year term of probation and a deferred disposition on a felony securities charge, which may be dismissed upon successful completion of the probationary term.

Dziedzic had previously pleaded guilty to one count of communication of unregistered securities, and a separate count involving the failure to notify the Treasury Department of his collection of more than $10,000 in cash from a real estate customer.  

As part of the sentence, Dziedzic must give up his real estate license.  He paid $107,280 in restitution for the actual loss caused when 40 banks paid out on the false liens, and he was also ordered to pay a money judgment of $142,000 over time, in order to disgorge additional profits.  As part of the plea agreement, Dziedzic, a Canadian national who naturalized as a U.S. citizen during the investigation, agreed to cooperate in his denaturalization, because he had failed to disclose the existence of the investigation to U.S. Citizenship and Immigration Services during the naturalization process.

The investigation in this case was conducted by Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation; the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General; and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The prosecution was handled by Gary M. Restaino and Monica B. Klapper, Assistant U.S. Attorneys, District of Arizona, Phoenix.

 

New York DA Vance Releases Grand Jury Report Documenting Epidemic of Real Estate Theft Targeting Vulnerable New Yorkers D.A. Asks Lawmakers to Adopt Series of Reforms to Curb “Title Identity Theft,” or “Deed Fraud”.  Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr., today announced that a New York State Supreme Court Grand Jury has issued a report outlining a series of recommendations to curb a growing “epidemic” of residential real estate fraud, whose victims, according to the Grand Jury, “

Source: DA Vance Releases Grand Jury Report Documenting Epidemic of Real Estate Theft Targeting Vulnerable New Yorkers – Manhattan District Attorney’s Office

Finance of America Mortgage to Pay $14.5 Million to Resolve Whistleblower Lawsuit Related to FHA

The United States Department of Justice announced today that Finance of America Mortgage, LLC (“FAM”) has agreed to pay the United States $14.5 million to settle a False Claims Act lawsuit involving mortgage fraud.

Source: Finance of America Mortgage to Pay $14.5 Million to Resolve Whistleblower Lawsuit Related to FHA Fraud

Matthew T. Voss, 43, Northport, New York, formerly the Chief Operating Officer of Long Island mortgage lender Vanguard Funding, LLC (Vanguard), was sentenced today to conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud in connection with the diversion of more than $8.9 million of warehouse loans that Vanguard had fraudulently obtained purportedly to fund home mortgages and mortgage refinancing.

Between August 2015 and March 2017, Voss and his co-conspirators at Vanguard engaged in a scheme whereby they obtained more than $8.9 million in short-term loans, referred to as warehouse loans, by falsely representing that the loan proceeds would fund specific mortgages, or refinance specific mortgages, for Vanguard clients.  Instead, Voss and his co-conspirators diverted the funds to pay personal expenses and compensation, and to pay off loans they had previously obtained through false loan applications.  https://www.justice.gov/usao-edny/pr/former-ceo-long-island-mortgage-lender-sentenced-24-months-imprisonment-89-million

Voss was sentenced to 24 months’ imprisonment to be followed by three years’ supervised release.  The amount of restitution will be ordered by the Court at a later date.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office (FBI), and Maria T. Vullo, Superintendent, New York State Department of Financial Services (DFS), announced the sentence.

With today’s sentence, Matthew Voss has been held accountable for using his extensive knowledge of the mortgage industry to deceive banks that trusted and relied upon him as a business partner and divert money for his personal use,” stated United States Attorney Donoghue.  “This Office, together with our law enforcement partners, will vigorously investigate and prosecute those who commit fraud to advance their own financial interests at the expense of businesses and residents of our community.”

A compromised banking system threatens economic stability and the safety of the mortgage industry, which puts communities and the American institution of homeownership at risk,” stated FBI Assistant-Director-in-Charge Sweeney.  “Thanks to the dedicated work of our law enforcement partners, today’s sentence proves that those who use their expertise to deceive others for their own financial gain will be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”

As New York’s financial services regulator, DFS is proud to have worked with the U.S. Attorney’s Office and other law enforcement partners to hold this defendant accountable for his actions,” stated DFS Superintendent Vullo.  “DFS will continue to combat fraud and bring criminals to justice in order to safeguard the industry and protect consumers.”

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Whitman G.S. Knapp and Elizabeth Losey Macchiaverna are in charge of the prosecution.

Hollie Darlene Dustin, 60, Punta Gorda, Florida, was sentenced today to six months in federal prison for committing wire fraud against the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae).

According to court documents, Dustin, a licensed real estate broker, owned Home Choice Real Estate (HCRE), a company that contracted with Fannie Mae to manage and perform preservation services on various Fannie Mae foreclosed properties. As part of a Master Listing Agreement with Fannie Mae, Dustin’s company was prohibited from using any vendors that she controlled to perform preservation services on Fannie Mae properties. Dustin fraudulently used ProPreserve, a company that she controlled, to perform preservation services on the properties without Fannie Mae’s knowledge or consent. She then submitted approximately 550 fraudulent ProPreserve invoices for HCRE, which Fannie Mae paid.

Dustin also created inflated ProPreserve invoices for work already performed by other vendors, then submitted those false invoices to Fannie Mae for payment.

Dustin used interstate wires to fraudulently submit the invoices to Fannie Mae.

The court also ordered Dustin to serve a term of three years of supervised release, 100 hours of community service, and to pay restitution in the amount of $34,001.25. As part of her sentence, the court also entered a forfeiture money judgment in the amount of $34,001.25, the proceeds of the wire fraud. Dustin had pleaded guilty on June 19, 2018. http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/?s=Hollie+Darlene+Dustin

This case was investigated by the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jeffrey F. Michelland.

David Fili, Jr., 48, Drexel Hill, Pennsylvania, was sentenced today to one day in jail and five years of supervised release, with the first 18 months of supervised release to be served on home confinement in multi-million dollar fraud scheme.

Along with George Barnard, 47, Newtown Square, Pennsylvania, Fili owned Capital Financial Mortgage Corporation (“CFMC”), based in Delaware County, Pennsylvania. Between 2005 and March 2013, Fili and Barnard issued refinance mortgage loans to customers of CFMC. Instead of using the money to pay off their customers’ outstanding first mortgages, however, they diverted $9,781,977 to themselves from bank accounts belonging to CFMC and several title companies owned by Barnard. Barnard was previously sentenced to five years in prison for his role in the scheme.

As part of his guilty plea, Fili admitted that he used much of the money he diverted to buy a vacation home and to support his gambling habit (while Barnard used the money he diverted to buy multi-million dollar beach homes in Avalon, New Jersey, several yachts, and to pay the salary of a yacht captain). At the time that the scheme fell apart in March 2013, Fili and Barnard left over two dozen CFMC customers stuck with two mortgages on their homes because CFMC had failed to pay off their customers’ existing first mortgages.

Fili was ordered to forfeit $1,969,312.02, and is jointly and severally liable to pay $9,567,074.56 in restitution.  Fili previously entered a guilty plea to ten counts of wire fraud and two counts of bank fraud.http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/?s=David+Fili%2C+Jr.

U.S. Attorney William M. McSwain made the announcement.

For many years, Fili defrauded honest, hard-working individuals out of their money so that he could gamble it away and relax in his illegally-obtained vacation home, “ said U.S. Attorney McSwain. “The defendant’s vacation ends now. We are thankful that the Court ordered him to pay millions of dollars as a result of his crimes.”

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. Lowe.

 

Allen Seymour, 50 and Tina Seymour, 46, both from Oxford, Massachusetts have been indicted today in connection with a scheme to defraud homeowners and mortgage lenders by providing fraudulent documents in legal and real estate transactions in Cambridge and Brookline, Massachusetts.

The Attorney General’s Office alleges that throughout 2017 and 2018, Allen Seymour repeatedly targeted homeowners, including elderly residents, to fraudulently gain control of residential properties and resell them at a profit to investors. The AG’s Office also alleges that Seymour forged power of attorney documents in the name of homeowners and others to gain control over the seller’s proceeds, and then laundered those funds through third party accounts.

Allen Seymour was arrested in South Carolina in May and is currently being held without bail pending probation surrender hearing scheduled for a later date. Seymour will appear in Worcester Superior Court on January 9, 2019 for a hearing regarding his probation surrender.

The AG’s Office alleges that Allen’s former wife, Tina Seymour, assisted with these forgeries and provided unauthorized access to notary stamps.

In 2010, Seymour previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to state prison for a similar mortgage fraud scheme prosecuted by the AG’s Office.

Allen Seymour was indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury on charges of Forgery (7 counts), Uttering (5 counts), Larceny over $250 (5 counts), and Money Laundering (5 counts). Tina Seymour was indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Forgery (2 Counts). Allen Seymour will be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court at a later date. Tina Seymour will be arraigned in Hampden Superior Court at a later date.

These new charges are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The investigation into this matter is ongoing.

Attorney General Maura Healey made the announcement today.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Edward Beagan and Sara Shannon of AG Healey’s White Collar & Public Integrity Division, and investigated by Anthony Taylor of the AG’s Financial Investigations Division. The Massachusetts State Police, the Brookline Police, the Cambridge Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Horry County Sheriff’s Department of South Carolina assisted with this investigation.