Nathan Russo, 34, Johnston, Rhode Island, pled guilty before Chief United States District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford, Connecticut, to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud stemming from his participation in a mortgage fraud conspiracy.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Russo and others engaged in a scheme to obtain millions of dollars in residential real estate loans, including loans insured by the Federal Housing Administration, through the use of sham sales contracts, false loan applications and fraudulent property appraisals.
Russo was a mortgage broker employed by Action Mortgage Corp., a licensed mortgage broker in Cranston, Rhode Island. In pleading guilty, Russo admitted that he acted as a mortgage broker for five residential property sales that closed in between April and September 2007. All but one of these properties were in Connecticut. Russo prepared loan packages for these transactions, including loan applications for the buyer, which he knew to include false information about the buyer’s employment, assets and liabilities and the buyer’s intention to occupy the property as his principal residence. The loan applications also were supported by false documentation, including earning statements and fraudulent bank records.
Judge Thompson has scheduled sentencing for April 4, 2011, at which time Russo faces a maximum term of imprisonment of five years and a fine of up to $250,000.
The investigation is ongoing.
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced the guilty plea.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Eric J. Glover and Susan Wines.