Couple Pleads Not Guilty to Mortgage Fraud Charges

admin —  June 4, 2010 — Leave a comment

Thomas Komasa, 45, and his wife Heidi Komasa, 37, Kingston, New York, former Vermont residents, pleaded not guilty in United States District Court in Burlington, Vermont to charges stemming from an alleged mortgage fraud scheme.

On May 27, 2010, a federal grand jury in Burlington, Vermont returned a ten-count indictment charging the Komasas with conspiracy and mail, wire and bank fraud. According to the indictment, between 2004 and 2006, the Komasas made false statements and used falsified documentation to obtain mortgage loans to buy and refinance five parcels of residential real estate in Chittenden County, Vermont. The couple allegedly bought the properties for investment purposes, with the intention of reselling them in a rising real estate market. According to the indictment, the Komasas obtained more than $2 million in loans for which they otherwise were not qualified by, among other things, inflating the income they reported in mortgage applications; overvaluing assets and understating liabilities; and supplying falsified documentation concerning their financial affairs to the lending institutions.

The Komasas resold one of the five properties in 2006 for a small profit. However, they were unable to maintain payments on the four other mortgages and, as a result, those properties were eventually foreclosed upon.

A tenth count in the indictment charges Thomas Komasa with another bank fraud. According to the indictment, in 2005, Komasa wrote a $19,000 check drawn on an account that had been closed for almost four years. He then deposited the worthless check into a business account at his credit union and engaged in financial transactions with the apparent funds.

The charges in the indictment are merely accusations and that the Komasas are presumed innocent unless and until they are proven guilty.

U.S. Magistrate Judge John M. Conroy released the Komasas on conditions pending trial, which has not been scheduled.

If convicted, the Komasas face up to 30 years of imprisonment and fines of up to $1,000,000. The actual sentence would be determined with reference to federal sentencing guidelines.

This case was investigated by the Burlington, Vermont office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

Thomas Komasa is represented by Elizabeth Mann and Heidi Komasa by Tom Sherrer. The prosecutor is Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory Waples.

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