Sergio Natera, 35, Bridgeport, Connecticut, a licensed real estate agent, pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud stemming from his involvement in a “short sale” mortgage fraud scheme.
As previously reported on Mortgage Fraud Blog, according to court documents and statements made in court, Natera worked with another real estate agent to defraud Regions Bank, which held two mortgages on a residential property in Bridgeport, Connecticut. On December 5, 2007, the other real estate agent, who was a listing agent for the property, received an offer to purchase the property for a price of $132,500. However, Natera subsequently communicated 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.
Natera is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall on April 30, 2010, at which time he faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, a fine of up to $1 million, and an order of restitution.
This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ann M. Nevins.