Man Sentenced to Prison for Role as Straw Buyer

Allison Tussey —  January 29, 2014 — Leave a comment

Marc Jean, 44, a citizen of Haiti residing in Norwich, Connecticut, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for his role in an extensive mortgage fraud scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between 2006 and 2010, Syed Babar, New London, Connecticut, orchestrated a scheme to obtain millions of dollars in residential real estate loans through the use of sham sales contracts, false loan applications and fraudulent property appraisals. The scheme involved nearly 30 properties in Connecticut, most of which ended up in foreclosure, and resulted in a loss of more than $4 million to various private lenders and to the Federal Housing Administration, which insured many of the loans that were fraudulently obtained.

Jean conspired with Babar and others and was paid tens of thousands of dollars for acting as a straw buyer in a total of four residential property sales in New London, New Britain and Meriden. At Babar’s direction, Jean accepted deposits of proceeds from the conspiracy into his bank account in order to show that he made more money than he actually did and that he had cash available for the real estate transactions. In connection with the fraudulent real estate transactions, Jean provided fictitious documentation and made false statements to lenders, including that he intended to occupy the property as his primary residence, that he earned income from a rental property, that he had provided cash for the transaction, and that he is was a U.S. citizen.

The loss suffered by the lenders for the four properties was more than $725,000. Judge Thompson ordered Jean to pay restitution in the amount of $688,852.74.

On July 9, 2013, Jean pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.

Fifteen individuals have been convicted in connection with this scheme. On November 28, 2011, Syed Babar was sentenced to 120 months of imprisonment.

Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced the sentence.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Eric Glover, Susan Wines and Liam Brennan.

Allison Tussey

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