Edward E. Bohm, 41, Nissequogue, New York, President of Sales and an undisclosed owner of Long Island mortgage lender Vanguard Funding, LLC (Vanguard), pleaded guilty today to conspiring to commit wire fraud and bank fraud in connection with the illegal diversion of more than $8.9 million of warehouse loans that Vanguard had obtained to fund mortgages.

According to court filings and the facts presented at the plea proceedings, between August 2015 and March 2017, Bohm engaged in a scheme in which he and others obtained warehouse, or short-term, loans for Vanguard by falsely representing that Vanguard would use the proceeds of those loans to fund mortgages or provide mortgage refinancing for Vanguard’s clients.  Once Vanguard received the loans, however, Bohm, along with others diverted the monies to pay personal expenses and compensation, and to pay off loans they had previously obtained with fraudulent loan submissions for improper purposes.  http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/?s=Edward+E.+Bohm

The guilty plea was entered before United States District Judge Sandra J. Feuerstein.  When sentenced, Bohm faces up to 30 years in prison, as well as restitution, criminal forfeiture and a fine.

Earlier, in 2018, Vanguard’s Chief Operating Officer and the Chief Financial Officer entered guilty pleas in connection with this fraud and were sentenced to terms of incarceration.

Richard P. Donoghue, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, William F. Sweeney, Jr., Assistant Director-in-Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York Field Office, and Linda A. Lacewell, Acting Superintendent, New York State Department of Financial Services, announced the guilty plea.

The government’s case is being handled by the Office’s Business and Securities Fraud Section.  Assistant United States Attorneys Whitman G.S. Knapp and Elizabeth Losey Macchiaverna are handling the prosecution with assistance from Assistant United States Attorney Laura Mantell of the Office’s Asset Forfeiture Section.

 

Jordan Horsford, 29, East New York, Brooklyn was indicted today for allegedly stealing and attempting to sell the home of his 85-year-old neighbor, a diabetic man for whom the defendant was a part-time caretaker.

According to the investigation, in August 2016 the defendant, who was known to do odd jobs in the neighborhood, began helping the victim as needed, including carrying his wheelchair up steps and helping him get in and out of vehicles; he was paid for each task by the victim’s family.

In April 2017, it is alleged, the victim’s family began paying the defendant $400 a week to accept Meals on Wheels deliveries and set them out for the victim, to make sure he took his medicine and to check in on him at night.

Between June 19, 2017 and November 1, 2017, the defendant allegedly convinced the victim to sign away the deed to his home on Barbey Street, East New York, Brooklyn. The defendant allegedly told the victim he risked losing his home if he did not sign a document, and had the document notarized by a notary. The defendant then allegedly realized he needed another document notarized, but the notary refused so the defendant allegedly copied and cut and pasted her original signature. He then recorded the deed, which had been signed over to him.

Finally, it is alleged, the defendant attempted to sell the house almost immediately after securing the deed, but a title company suspected foul play and refused to insure the home. The would-be purchaser then reached out to the 85-year-old victim’s family. At around the same time, the victim’s daughter, while going through her father’s mail, found a letter from the Department of Finance notifying them about documents filed relating to the property. The daughter pursued the matter with the DOF and the case was ultimately referred to the Brooklyn District Attorney’s Office for further investigation and prosecution.

Additionally, the defendant allegedly used the victim’s credit card to buy two gold bars online, one in September 2016 and another in August 2017.

Horsford was arraigned yesterday before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on a 12-count indictment in which he is charged with second-degree grand larceny, third-degree grand larceny, first-degree identity theft, first-degree falsifying business records, offering a false instrument for filing, criminal possession of a forged instrument and fraudulently obtaining a signature. He was released without bail, ordered to surrender his passport and to return to court on March 6, 2019. The defendant faces up to 15 years in prison if convicted of the top count.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez made the announcement.

District Attorney Gonzalez said “This case should serve as another warning that rising property values in Brooklyn make homeowners, especially the elderly, the target of unscrupulous predators trying to steal their homes from under them. I urge all homeowners to be especially careful about signing documents relating to their property without trusted legal advice.”

The case was investigated by Detective Sheriff Kevin Acon, of the Criminal Investigations Bureau, New York City Department of Finance.

The case is being prosecuted by Senior Assistant District Attorney Karen Turner of the District Attorney’s Frauds Bureau, under the supervision of Assistant District Attorney Gavin Miles, Counsel to the Frauds Bureau, and the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the District Attorney’s Investigations Division.

George Gilmore, 69, Toms River, New Jersey, was charged today in a six-count indictment with one count of income tax evasion for calendar years 2013, 2014, and 2015; two counts of filing false tax returns for calendar years 2013 and 2014; failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes for two quarters in 2016, and making false statements on a 2015 loan application submitted to Ocean First Bank N.A.

According to documents filed in this case:

Gilmore worked as an equity partner and shareholder at Gilmore & Monahan P.A., a law firm in Toms River, New Jersey where he exercised primary control over the firm’s financial affairs. Gilmore filed on behalf of himself and his spouse federal income tax returns declaring that he owed $493,526 for calendar year 2013, $321,470 for 2014, and $311,287 for 2015. Despite admitting that he owed taxes for each of these years, Gilmore made no estimated tax payments and failed to pay the federal individual income taxes that he owed. Rather, between January 2014 and December 2016, Gilmore spent more than $2.5 million on personal expenses, including substantial home remodeling costs, vacations, and the acquisition of antiques, artwork, and collectibles. By Dec. 31, 2016, based on the tax due and owing that Gilmore reported on the returns, he owed the IRS $1,520,329 in taxes, penalties, and interest.

Gilmore also submitted a loan application to Ocean First Bank containing false statements. On Nov. 21, 2014, Gilmore reviewed, signed, and submitted to Ocean First Bank a Uniform Residential Loan Application (URLA) to obtain refinancing of a mortgage loan for $1.5 million with a “cash out” provision that provided Gilmore would obtain cash from the loan. On Jan. 22, 2015, Gilmore submitted another URLA updating the initial application. Gilmore failed to disclose his outstanding 2013 tax liabilities and personal loans that he had obtained from others on the URLAs. Gilmore received $572,000 from the cash out portion of the loan, the proceeds of which he did not apply to his unpaid taxes.

To evade and defeat the payment of his taxes Gilmore concealed information from the IRS and falsely classified income, made false and misleading statements to IRS personnel, and filed false tax returns that materially understated the true amount of income that he received from the law firm:

  • From January 2014 to December 2016, Gilmore used the law firm’s bank accounts to pay more than $2 million worth of personal expenses, including obtaining checks to cash and cash advances on a corporate credit card. Gilmore falsely classified payments as “shareholder loans” instead of income to him.
  • On Oct. 16, 2014, Gilmore sent the IRS a $493,526 check as payment for his 2013 taxes despite having no more than $2,500 in his personal bank account at the time. Gilmore’s check bounced and he never resubmitted payment in lieu of the bounced check. From November 2014, when he was notified by the IRS concerning the bounced check, to the end of December 2014, Gilmore spent more than $80,000 toward the construction of his home and to purchase artwork, antiques, and collectibles and more than $25,000 in mortgages and related expenses for five real estate properties that he owed.
  • From November 2014 to October 2015, Gilmore falsely represented to the IRS collections officer that he would make partial payments to the IRS for his outstanding tax liability, but made none.
  • Gilmore filed false tax returns for 2013 and 2014, which under reported his actual income from the law firm.

Because he exercised significant control over the law firm’s financial affairs, Gilmore was a person responsible for withholding payroll taxes from the gross salary and wages of the law firm’s employees to cover individual income, Social Security and Medicare tax obligations.  For the tax quarters ending March 31, 2016, and June 30, 2016, the law firm withheld tax payments from its employees’ checks, but Gilmore failed to pay over in full the payroll taxes due to the IRS.

The tax evasion count and the two counts of failing to collect, account for, and pay over payroll taxes each carry a maximum penalty of five years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The two counts of filing a false tax return each carry a maximum penalty of three years in prison, and a $250,000 fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense. The count alleging loan application fraud carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Gilmore will be arraigned at a date to be determined.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig made the announcement.

First Assistant U.S. Attorney Honig credited special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge John R. Tafur, special agents with U.S. Attorney’s Office under the direction of Supervisory Special Agent Thomas Mahoney, and special agents of the FBI Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Gregory W. Ehrie in Newark, for the investigation leading to today’s indictment.

The government is represented by Deputy U.S. Attorney Matthew J. Skahill; Assistant U.S. Attorney Jihee G. Suh of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Special Prosecutions Division; and Trial Attorney Thomas F. Koelbl of the U.S. Department of Justice – Tax Division.

The charges and allegations in the indictment are merely accusations, and Gilmore is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.

Danny Noble, 49, Baldwin, New York was sentenced today to 4.5 to nine years in prison in connection with illegally transferring the titles of seven houses in Brooklyn, New York and two in Queens, New York from their true owners to himself or a corporation, then renting out some of the properties and selling others.

According to the indictment, between June 29, 2010 and March 31, 2015, the defendants falsely transferred title to seven Brooklyn properties: 71 Carlton Avenue, 104 Vanderbilt Avenue, 45 North Oxford Street and 70 Clermont Avenue, Fort Greene,; 1391 East 95th Street in Canarsie, 357 Jefferson Avenue in Bedford-Stuyvesant; 729 Essex Street in East New York all in Brooklyn, New York and two properties in Queens, New York: 94-05 108th Street in Jamaica and 187-05 Liberty Avenue in Hollis.

Five of the properties were transferred from the actual homeowners to Noble, according to the indictment, three were transferred to 69 Adelphi Street, LLC, and one to a third party. The defendants allegedly targeted the properties because the owners did not live in the houses and rarely visited them.

Once the titles were transferred, according to the indictment, the defendants carried out various scams in order to cash in on them. For example, Noble maintained control of 45 North Oxford Street, a recently renovated brownstone in Fort Greene, whose owner lived outside of the United States. Noble rented out two apartments in the brownstone, collecting $1,500 a month in rent for each of them. He also maintained control of the two houses in Queens, renting them out for various amounts.

In another facet of the scheme, concerning 1247 Putnam Avenue, Brooklyn, New York, Noble filed a fraudulent satisfaction of mortgage.

Furthermore, for example, with respect to 71 Carlton Avenue, 104 Vanderbilt Avenue, 70 Clermont Avenue, and 1391 East 95th Street, the defendants transferred the properties’ titles into the names of other, third parties.

Noble pleaded guilty to first-degree criminal possession of stolen property and fourth-degree conspiracy before Brooklyn Supreme Court Justice Danny Chun on April 27, 2016 and was sentenced today to an indeterminate term of 4.5 to nine years in prison. His co-defendant, Romelo Grey, 41, Freeport, New York, pleaded guilty to falsifying business records on August 16, 2016, and was sentenced to 1.5 to 3 years in prison.

Brooklyn District Attorney Eric Gonzalez made the announcement.

The District Attorney said that, according to the investigation, the scheme was discovered after Grey and Noble transferred the title to the Canarsie house at 1391 East 95th Street to a third party. Grey visited the house with the buyer to inspect it, and told the tenants living there that they had to move out. The buyer then began renovating the house and those workers caught the eye of an employee of a business across the street, which was actually owned by the true owner of 1391 East 95th Street. That employee called the owner of the property, who called police. Further investigation led to the defendants’ connections to the other properties.

As part of the scheme, Noble, the leader, filed false documents with the New York City Department of Finance, Office of the City Register, which maintains land records and other real property filings in New York City, including records relating to ownership and encumbrances, such as liens and mortgages.

District Attorney Gonzalez said, “In Brooklyn, we take real estate scams very seriously. The houses targeted in this fraud are worth millions of dollars. My prosecutors and investigators worked diligently to expose this fraudulent scheme and bring this defendant to justice.”

The case was prosecuted by Assistant District Attorney Richard Farrell, Chief of the District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit, under the overall supervision of Assistant District Attorney Patricia McNeill, Deputy Chief of the Investigations Division.

Marilyn Sanchez, 49, Brooklyn, New York was sentenced today for filing two fraudulent deeds and supporting documents with the New York City Register’s Office in order to fraudulently acquire ownership of two separate residential homes in Brooklyn, New York.

According to the indictment and statements made at Sanchez’s arraignment in Kings County Supreme Court, in January 2016 Marilyn Sanchez illegally transferred ownership of 477 Christopher Avenue, Brownsville, Brooklyn, New York from the lawful owners to herself by recording a deed and five supporting documents containing forged signatures with the New York City Register’s Office.

Additionally, in November 2016, Sanchez illegally transferred ownership of 271 East 32nd Street, East Flatbush, Brooklyn, New York by recording a deed and five supporting documents containing the forged signatures of the lawful owners with the New York City Register’s Office.

In both instances, the owners never signed the deed nor the supporting documents and they never gave Sanchez, or anyone else, permission to sign on their behalf.

On October 5, 2018, Sanchez pleaded guilty to two counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, before the Honorable Judge Miller in Kings County Supreme Court.

Sanchez was sentenced to 60 days in jail, followed by five years of probation. Sanchez also agreed to transfer ownership of the two property deeds back to the lawful owners. Today’s sentencing marks the first deed theft ruling resulting from an OAG investigation.

Attorney General Letitia James made the announcement.

Too often scammers turn the American Dream of homeownership into a nightmare,” said Attorney General Letitia James. “I’m pleased our office’s investigation has resulted in the return of these stolen deeds to their rightful owners. No one should have to worry about their property being stolen by scammers, and I encourage New Yorkers to follow my office’s tips to help protect themselves from potential foreclosure scams. I remind anyone who tries to harm hardworking New Yorkers that we will hold you accountable.”

The DOF Office of the Sheriff remains committed to investigate and arrest those responsible for deed fraud,” said New York City Sheriff Joseph Fucito. “The Attorney General’s prosecution of this case sends a strong message about the severity of the crime and the commitment to protect the homes of all New Yorkers. I want to commend Sheriff’s Detectives Francesca Rosa and Nene Kodjoe for their efforts in this investigation.

After years of working with New York homeowners, we’ve seen hundreds of scam and fraud cases, many of which result in major losses for families and their communities. But deed fraud cases are some of the most painful and complicated, because homeowners are often forced to fight for years to regain their properties,” said Christie Peale, CEO/Executive Director for the Center for NYC Neighborhoods. “We congratulate the Attorney General’s Office here in making sure that these homes were returned to their lawful owners. The OAG’s significant investments in fighting mortgage scams and deed theft through education and prosecution are particularly welcome, given how easy it is for bad actors to steal homes from hardworking families.”

Launched in December 2016 by the Attorney General’s office, the Foreclosure Rescue Scam Prevention Initiative is a grant program focused on enhancing outreach, education, and referral services for homeowners at risk of fraudulent foreclosure rescue schemes. The Foreclosure Rescue Scam Prevention Initiative is part of the office’s broader efforts to direct resources to at-risk homeowners, including investing $130 million in the Homeowner Protection Program (HOPP). Since 2012, HOPP has provided free, high-quality assistance to over 90,000 families to help avoid foreclosure of their homes.

To protect yourself from becoming a victim of a foreclosure rescue scam, Attorney General James offered the following tips:

  • Be skeptical of online ads or telephone callers that promise they can get you a mortgage modification or save your home from foreclosure. Only your bank or loan servicer can approve a loan modification.
  • Visit homeownerhelpny.com for information on how to avoid or report scams.
  • Do not give your personal financial information, such as your bank account number, social security number, or the name of your loan servicer, to a caller offering to help save you from foreclosure. Your bank will already have this information.
  • Never pay an up-front fee for mortgage-related services. It is a violation of New York law to charge upfront fees for such services, and violations should be reported to the Attorney General’s hotline at 1-855-HOME-456.
  • If you believe you have been scammed by a foreclosure rescue operator or a debt relief organization, submit a complaint to the New York State Attorney General’s Office: ny.gov/consumer-frauds/Filing-a-Consumer-Complaint

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorneys General Don Nguyen and Herman Wun of the Public Integrity Bureau, under the supervision of Real Estate Enforcement Unit Chief Travis Hill and Public Integrity Deputy Bureau Chief Stacy Aronowitz. The Criminal Justice Division is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General José Maldonado.

The Attorney General’s investigation was conducted by Investigator Walter Lynch under the supervision of Deputy Chief John McManus. The Investigations Bureau is led by Chief John Reidy.

The Attorney General thanks the New York City Sheriff’s Office for its assistance on this matter.

 

Hasan Hussain, 57, New Jersey, mastermind of mortgage fraud scheme lands unlucky prison sentence. A man described by prosecutors as the mastermind of a mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded homeowners, investors and banks of nearly $1.5 million has been sentenced to more than 13 years in prison.

Source: N.J. mastermind of mortgage fraud scheme lands unlucky prison sentence | nj.com

Alysia Franco, also known as Martha Orozco, was indicted for her alleged involvement in a scheme to steal closing funds during real estate purchase transactions.

In September 2015, the FBI Phoenix Field Division’s Tucson Resident Agency received a report alleging the theft of closing funds in a real estate transaction from a Tucson, Arizona resident.  The alleged victim notified the FBI that they wired their closing funds to a bank account in the name of SkySea Logistics after receiving an email instructing them to do so, purportedly from a party to the real estate closing.  Unbeknownst to the victim, Skysea Logistics Services was not a party to the real estate transaction and was allegedly used as a front business by Franco, who allegedly provided SkySea’s business and account information to others for use in receiving the proceeds of criminal activity between September 2013 and September 2015 as alleged in the indictment.

The resulting investigation by the FBI uncovered another victim in Tucson, Arizona who transferred closing funds to SkySea Logistic Services.  The funds wired by both victims totaled $391,500.00.  The Attorney General’s Office seized the full amount of the funds from SkySea’s bank account and returned the full amount of what was allegedly stolen back to the victims.

The indictment alleges Franco committed two counts of Theft, one count of Money Laundering in the Second Degree, one count of Illegally Conducting an Enterprise, and one count of Conspiracy.

Attorney General Mark Brnovich made the announcement.

This matter was investigated by the FBI Phoenix Field Division’s Tucson Resident Agency.  Assistant Attorney General Rachel R. Heintz is prosecuting the case.

All defendants are presumed innocent until convicted in a court of law.

 

John F. Iacono, a/k/a Vito Yodice, 46 and Shpresa Gjekovic, a/k/a Hope Gjekovic a/k/a Hope Iacono a/k/a Hope Yodice a/k/a Shpresa Hadzovic, 32, have been charged with defrauding banks throughout New York State and laundering those criminal proceeds to further their scheme.

A joint investigation by the Attorney General’s Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau and the New York State Police revealed that Iacono and Gjekovic allegedly utilized shell companies, provided fake bank statements, W2s, paystubs, and tax returns, and forged cashier checks in order to solicit over $1.3 million in loans from multiple banks across the upstate region.

According to the indictment and statements made by the prosecutor at arraignment, between April 2016 and March 2017, Iacono and Gjekovic allegedly applied for mortgages, a construction loan, personal lines of credit, personal loans, a commercial loan, a debt consolidation loan, and a Home Equity Line of Credit (HELOC) by grossly overstating their income, assets, and source of funds – all supported by fraudulent documentation. The couple also allegedly created entities, including but not limited to JF Iacono, LLC and Iacono, LLC, and purported to have worked for them for years. In reality, these companies were created just days prior to their submission of applications for hundreds of thousands of dollars in bank funds. In total, the couple stole over $460,000 from three financial institutions, and attempted to steal over $860,000 in additional proceeds from five financial institutions.

The investigation further revealed that Iacono and Gjekovic allegedly supplied over $125,000 in counterfeit cashiers checks to financial institutions, law firms, title companies, and the sellers of a Schoharie County, New York property in order to secure financing and establish residence in the area. Iacono and Gjekovic allegedly intended to turn the Schoharie County property into a swingers club, but after obtaining the property, instead rented it out as a hunting cabin and purported to raise money for children in need. The couple allegedly utilized online postings, including on Facebook and Airbnb, to advertise the rental property.

In addition, Iacono and Gjekovic allegedly concealed from financial institutions outstanding judgments against them totaling in excess of $1.4 million. Moreover, the couple allegedly laundered fraudulently obtained loan proceeds to fund deposits and cash to close on the real estate transactions, utilizing at least five financial institutions during the course of the year-long scheme.

The defendants also allegedly created a personal financial statement showing net worth in excess of $1.1 million, with cash on hand of $400,000, while in reality their account balances were in the negative. The defendants allegedly supplied false bank statements showing the purported assets to support this claim. The balances on these statements were allegedly grossly inflated, as the couple never had more than a few thousand dollars in the accounts – the vast majority of which was from other loans.

Both defendants were arrested on a 19-count indictment, including charges of Residential Mortgage Fraud in the Second Degree, Grand Larceny in the Second and Third Degrees, and Money Laundering in the Third Degree.

Iacono and Gjekovic are each charged in the Attorney General’s indictment with the following 19 felonies: Residential Mortgage Fraud in the Second Degree, a class C felony (one count); Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony (two counts); Money Laundering in the Third Degree, a class D felony (two counts); Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, a class D felony (one count); Attempted Residential Mortgage Fraud in the Second Degree, a class D felony (one count); Attempted Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class D felony (three counts); Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument, a class D felony (four counts); Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, a class E felony (four counts); and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony (one count).

Iacono was arraigned on December 20, 2018 before Schoharie County Court Judge George R. Bartlett, III. Bail was set in the amount of $175,000 cash or $350,000 bond. Gjekovic was arraigned on December 24, 2018 before Hon. Bartlett and bail was set in the amount of $75,000 cash or $150,000 bond. The defendants are scheduled to appear back in court January 16, 2019.

If convicted of all counts, Iacono and Gjekovic could each face up to 10 to 20 years in state prison.

Attorney General Barbara D. Underwood and State Police Superintendent George P. Beach II made the announcement.

As we allege, these defendants grossly inflated their assets and forged a number of documents in order to defraud multiple New York banks and attempt to steal over a million dollars,” said Attorney General UnderwoodWe have no tolerance for those who try to defraud New Yorkers in order to line their own pockets.”

Superintendent George P. Beach II said, “This couple concocted a series of devious schemes to knowingly defraud financial institutions out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. I commend the Attorney General’s Office, our State Police Financial Crimes Unit and other law enforcement partners for their hard work in exposing this fraud. This indictment should serve as a reminder that those who seek to carry out such deliberate scams will be held accountable for their crimes and brought to justice.”

The charges are merely allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in a court of law.

Attorney General Underwood thanks the New York State Police Financial Crimes Unit, as well as Schoharie County District Attorney Susan J. Mallery, for their valuable assistance on this investigation.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Philip V. Apruzzese of the Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau, with the assistance of Legal Support Analysts Kira M. Russom, Caitlin Carmody, and Supervising Analyst Paul Strocko. The OAG investigation was conducted by Investigator Mark J. Terra, under the supervision of Supervising Investigator Mark Spencer and Deputy Bureau Chief Antoine Karam. The Criminal Enforcement and Financial Crimes Bureau is led by Bureau Chief Stephanie Swenton and Deputy Bureau Chief Joseph D’Arrigo. The Criminal Division is led by Chief Deputy Attorney General Alvin Bragg.

 

George French Jones, Jr., 50,  Santa Monica, California, pled guilty on December 21, 2018, to mail fraud and identity theft charges in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme involving two waterfront residential properties in Broward County, Florida.

According to information disclosed in open court, in early 2018 Jones identified two residential properties in Fort Lauderdale, Florida, which Jones fraudulently pledged as collateral in order to obtain mortgage loans from a private lender.

The two properties were owned by corporate entities that Jones had no affiliation with and which were in fact owned by independent third parties. To execute his fraudulent loan scheme, Jones created fake identification documents and email addresses in order to impersonate officers of the corporate owners of the two properties. Jones then submitted bogus loan applications and other documents to a private lender in which he pretended to be the owners of the Fort Lauderdale, Florida properties. As a result of this scheme, Jones defrauded the private lender out of approximately $1.7 million dollars.

Jones pled guilty to one count of mail fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1341, and one count of aggravated identity theft, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1028A(a)(1). At sentencing, Jones faces a maximum possible sentence of 22 years in prison.  He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Robert N. Scola on March 1, 2018, at 8:30 a.m.

Ariana Fajardo Orshan, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, and George L. Piro, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) made the announcement.

U.S. Attorney Fajardo Orshan commended the investigative efforts of the FBI.  This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christopher Browne. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nalina Sombuntham is handling the asset forfeiture aspects of the prosecution.

Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or at http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

The first Filipina judge in Cook County broke down in sobs in a federal courtroom Thursday before being sentenced to a year in prison for her role in a $1.4 million mortgage fraud scheme that occurred years before she took the bench.

Source: Ex-judge given 1 year in prison for mortgage fraud scheme: ‘I’m an embarrassment!’ – Chicago Tribune