Jane Soulliere, 44, New London, Connecticut, pleaded guilty before Senior United States District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud stemming from a mortgage fraud scheme based in southeastern Connecticut.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Soulliere was a member of a mortgage fraud conspiracy headed by Jose Guzman and others. Guzman operated a mortgage business that arranged for individuals to obtain funding from various mortgage companies to fund mortgages of houses. Operating through various mortgage brokerage, property management and home improvement companies, Guzman and his co-conspirators arranged for “borrowers,” including Soulliere, to obtain funding from various mortgage companies and mortgage originators. Like Soulliere, the borrowers usually were individuals who had good credit but were of modest means with low levels of income. Guzman and his co-conspirators located real estate properties, specifically residential housing properties located in New London County, Connecticut, to be purchased by the borrowers using the funds loaned from various lenders. In order to recruit and entice the individuals to act as the borrowers, Guzman and others, at times, compensated the borrowers. In order to secure the funding from lenders, Guzman and his co-conspirators, falsified material information on the borrowers’ mortgage loan applications, including information regarding income, assets, employment, rent history, as well as the borrowers’ intention to make the properties their primary residence.
Acting as a borrower, Soulliere allowed her name to be used in the fraudulent purchase of five properties. She also recruited another individual who acted as a borrower in the purchase of four additional properties.
Through this conspiracy, the co-conspirators collected large commissions, fees and other money from the fraudulently conducted real estate transactions. In total, the co-conspirators caused more than 200 mortgages to be funded. As a result of defaults on the mortgages, the lenders suffered losses of several million dollars.
Soulliere was paid a total of approximately $28,000 for participating in this conspiracy. However, her fraudulent conduct caused a loss of more than $1 million to lending institutions.
Judge Covello has scheduled sentencing for February 22, 2011, at which time Soulliere faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 20 years. To date, six individuals involved in the scheme have pleaded guilty. On September 9, 2008, Guzman pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. He awaits sentencing.
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced the guilty plea.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. McGarry.
In July 2009, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the formation of the Connecticut Mortgage Fraud Task Force to investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud cases and related financial crimes occurring in Connecticut. In addition to investigating past mortgage fraud schemes, the Task Force will focus on emerging crime trends that are associated with the growing tide of foreclosures, including foreclosure rescue schemes, and short sale schemes. Citizens are encouraged to report any suspected mortgage fraud activity by calling 203-333-3512 and requesting the Connecticut Mortgage Fraud Task Force, or by sending an email to email@example.com.
The Connecticut Mortgage Fraud Task Force includes representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General, and State of Connecticut Department of Banking.
To report financial fraud crimes, and to learn more about the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.