Appraisal Fraud Leads to Prison Time

Allison Tussey —  January 18, 2012 — Leave a comment

Guillermo Laureiro, 40, Jefferson Township, Pennsylvania, that a fourth defendant connected to a mortgage fraud scheme was sentenced by Senior U.S. District Court Judge Edwin M. Kosik to spend five months in federal prison.

The defendant previously pleaded guilty to a charge of mail fraud as an aider and abettor.

Laureiro was charged by an Information filed by the U.S. Attorneys Office in September 2008, as a result of an investigation conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI). The Information outlined a scheme whereby operators and employees of First Advantage Mortgage Company, which was based in Lake Ariel and later Hamlin, Pennsylvania, and had an office in Old Forge, Pennsylvania, used false appraisals and false documents, including false W-2 forms, false real estate appraisals, and false employment records, to qualify customers for inflated mortgages and loans during 1999 through 2005.

Laureiro‘s involvement in the scheme occurred in 2001. Some of those customers subsequently defaulted on the mortgages and loans resulting in losses to banks and other financial institutions. The amount of money involved during Laureiro’s involvement in the fraudulent scheme was between $200,000 and $400,000. The entire scheme involved between $1 million and $2.5 million, and involved between 10 and 50 victims. Laureiro admitted that he prepared numerous false documents, including W-2s and employment records, to qualify borrowers for inflated mortgages.

Laureiro is the fourth defendant connected to the scheme to be sentenced in federal court. Alex Gambini, the former owner/operator of First Advantage Mortgage Company, was previously sentenced by Judge Kosik to 57 months in prison. Benjamin Haughney, who was a mortgage broker for First Advantage Mortgage Company and the owner/operator of Four Star Mortgage Company, was sentenced to two years in prison. Richard Woods, a former real estate appraiser, was sentenced to 20 months in prison.

Judge Kosik also ordered Laureiro to serve three years on supervised release following his prison sentence and pay a $4,000 fine. After Laureiro is released from prison, he must spend an additional five months on house arrest. The Court deferred ruling on restitution in the matter for 90 days.

In his plea agreement, Laureiro agreed to pay restitution for losses resulting from his conduct.

Peter J. Smith, United States Attorney for the Middle District of Pennsylvania, announced the sentence.

Assistant United States Attorney Francis P. Sempa prosecuted the case.

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Allison Tussey

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