Anna McElaney, 38, Norwalk, Connecticut, a licensed real estate agent, has pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud stemming from her involvement in a “short sale” mortgage fraud scheme.
As previously reported on Mortgage Fraud Blog, according to court documents and statements made in court, McElaney worked with Sergio Natera, also a real estate agent, to defraud Regions Bank, which held two mortgages on a residential property in Bridgeport, Connecticut. On December 5, 2007, McElaney who was a listing agent for the property, received an offer to purchase the property for a price of $132,500. However, McElaney and Natera subsequently directed communications to Regions Bank that the highest offer to purchase the property was for $102,375 by BOS Asset Management, LLC, an entity that Natera controlled. The bank agreed to a short sale of the property for the lower price, and released its mortgages on the property.
On June 9, 2008, Natera, through BOS Asset Management, sold the property for $132,500 to the original bidder on the property, and Natera and McElaney retained the difference in the two sale prices.
McElaney is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall on May 10, 2010, at which time she faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, a fine of up to $1 million, and an order of restitution.
Natera pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud on February 11, 2010. He awaits sentencing.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ann M. Nevins.