Stephen LaLonde, 42, Fort Lauderdale, Florida, was charged in a two-count Information for his role in a mortgage fraud closing scheme that resulted in the theft of more than $1 million in loan proceeds.
According to the July 19, 2009, criminal information, LaLonde stole more than $1 million at real estate closings as part of a scheme to defraud legitimate borrowers, lenders, and a title insurance company in connection with six real estate closings, held at Spectrum Title Inc., Oakland Park, Florida. The legitimate borrowers in these transactions sought to re-finance and payoff existing mortgages. Unbeknownst to the borrowers, however, LaLonde, kept the loan proceeds for himself and did not use the funds to pay off the borrowers’ pre-exiting loans.
The defendant was charged with mail fraud and making false statements.
Jeffrey H. Sloman, Acting United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, announced the indictment. Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the Federal-State Mortgage Fraud Strike Force, with special commendation U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Florida Department of Law Enforcement, and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Kay and Laurie Rucoba.