Stephen Lalonde, 43, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida was sentenced in connection with a mortgage fraud closing scheme that resulted in the theft of more than $1.3 million in loan proceeds.
As previously reported on Mortgage Fraud Blog, according to the Criminal Information and statements made in open court during the plea, Lalonde stole more than $1.3 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. The closings were held at Spectrum Title, Inc., in 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 payoff the borrowers’ pre-existing loans. He was charged with mail fraud and making false statements.
In addition to the 60-month sentence, the defendant was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,897,268.05 to the victims in this case, which included Stewart Title Guaranty Corporation, the underwriting company that ultimately suffered substantial losses.
Mr. Sloman commended the investigative efforts of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jeffrey Kay and Laurie E. Rucoba.