Dema Daiga, 29, College Park, Maryland, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Marvin C. Garbislate to 65 months in prison followed by 3 years of supervised release for defrauding a mortgage lending company in connection with six Baltimore, Maryland, properties. Daiga‘s sentence also included two counts of aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme. Judge Garbis also ordered Daiga to pay a special assessment of $1,200 and restitution of $664,493.
According to testimony offered during the two week trial, Daiga worked as a mortgage loan broker and assisted with property appraisals. Campbell also worked in the mortgage lending field. Witnesses testified that from August to December 16, 2008, Daiga and Campbell recruited two straw purchasers and used the names and identifying information of four other individuals, without their knowledge, to apply for mortgages on six properties. Because the straw purchasers lacked the income and assets to qualify as borrowers or make the monthly mortgage payments, the defendants: filled out mortgage loan applications on behalf of the straw purchasers and other unwitting individuals with false employment histories, earnings and assets; provided telephone numbers that the defendants controlled to any person calling to confirm the false employment and earnings; and generated fake monthly bank account statements to make it appear that the individuals had sufficient assets to make the down payments. In fact, Daiga or Campbell paid the down payments; caused appraisals to be performed that inflated the property values; and instructed the title companies to send a substantial part of the loan proceeds to the defendants, or to businesses that they controlled.
According to trial evidence, five of the six Baltimore, Maryland, properties purchased under this scheme swiftly went into default resulting in a loss to a Beltsville mortgage lending company of approximately $664,493. The mortgage lending company was subsequently forced to lay off at least 20 employees and is no longer doing business as a result of the losses it suffered from the scheme.
Judge Garbis previously sentenced Olu Campbell, formerly known as Oluseun Oshosanya, 30, Laurel, Maryland, on December 3, 2010 to 54 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for his participation in the fraud scheme. Judge Garbis also found that Campbell had obstructed justice during the post-trial proceedings on his motion for a new trial.
The sentence was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Special Agent in Charge Barbara Golden of the U.S. Secret Service – Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Ken Taylor of the Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General – Office of Investigations and Commissioner of Financial Regulation Mark Kaufman of the Maryland State Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
The Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force was established to unify the agencies that regulate and investigate mortgage fraud and promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of mortgage fraud schemes. This case, which was referred to the Task Force by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, as well as other cases brought by members of the Task Force, demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies to protect consumers from fraud and promote the integrity of the credit markets. Information about mortgage fraud prosecutions is available http://www.justice.gov/usao/md/Mortgage-Fraud/index.html.
This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, the HUD Office of Inspector General and the Maryland DLLR for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein thanked Assistant United States Attorneys Jefferson M. Gray and Sujit Raman, who prosecuted the case.