Arthur Strasnick, 64, New Smyrna Beach, Florida, was sentenced on two counts of mail fraud and one count of identity theft.
As previously reported on Mortgage Fraud Blog, Strasnick’s fraudulent activities began in early 2003 when he lured a Saratoga Springs woman into investing money with Strasnick’s firm; Backstreet Associates, Inc. Investors in Backstreet Associates, Inc. were “guaranteed” high fixed annual rates of returns ranging from 12.0% to 20.0% interest. Strasnick’s investors were paid purported interest and principal payments, when in reality; the investors were receiving monies obtained from the same investor or other investors.
In the fall of 2006, Strasnick also operated a mortgage fraud scheme in which he tricked other individuals, including the aforementioned Saratoga Springs woman, into providing him money representing equity in their homes. The mortgages were obtained after Strasnick either made false representations to the homeowners or forged the signatures of the actual homeowners.
United States Attorney Richard S. Hartunian and Acting Special Agent-in-Charge Toni Weirauch of the New York Field Office of the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division made the announcement.
U.S. Attorney Hartunian said that “fraudulent investment schemes such as this prey on vulnerability and hope, and can have devastating effects. With our law enforcement partners, we pursue these cases aggressively, and congratulate IRS-CI for their fine work in this case.”
Strasnick was sentenced by the Honorable Thomas J. McAvoy in Federal District Court in Albany to 60 months of imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release. Strasnick was also ordered to pay $1,994,620.32 in restitution.
This case was investigated by the Internal Revenue Service.