Victor Cuevas, 52, Bristol, Connecticut, was charged by information and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven, Connecticut, to conspiring with others to commit bank fraud in connection with his home mortgage loan applications.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in the summer of 2013, Cuevas, a City of Waterbury employee and, at that time, the elected state representative for the 75th assembly District to the State of Connecticut General Assembly, wanted to purchase a residence at 13 Jefferson Avenue, Bristol, Connecticut with an FHA loan.
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides mortgage insurance on loans made through its FHA program and mortgages offered through the program are subject to certain restrictions, including restrictions on the funds that may be used to purchase properties.
Cuevas, with the assistance of others, represented to the mortgage bank that he was using gifted funds to purchase the property when, in fact, the money was not gifted but was instead loaned to Cuevas for the purpose of purchasing the property.
Specifically, Cuevas first represented to the mortgage bank that an individual who he identified as his nephew but, in fact, was a subordinate employee from the City of Waterbury, was providing him with cash to purchase the property as a gift. When the mortgage lender asked for the “nephew’s” bank account statements to prove that he had the money to gift to Cuevas, Cuevas withdrew the mortgage application. A few weeks later, Cuevas had a different Waterbury employee, who Cuevas identified as his “cousin,” “gift” him the $7,000. Both individuals signed a HUD statement under oath that the funds were, indeed, a “gift” and that no repayment of the monies was expected. However, as soon as the mortgage closed, Cuevas re-paid the employee the $7,000.
Cuevas pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years. Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for September 21, 2016.
Cuevas resigned from the Connecticut General Assembly in March 2016.
The matter is being investigated by the Connecticut Public Corruption Task Force, notably the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The Task Force also includes members from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Karwan.