Louis Marandola, 41, attorney, Providence, Rhode Island; Brian R. McCaffrey, 38, licensed loan originator, East Greenwich, Rhode Island; Raffaele M. Marziale, 41, former loan officer, Bristol, Rhode Island; Lauren Sienko, 33, loan processor, Rehoboth, Massachusetts; Gina M. Ronci Mohamed, 45, licensed real estate agent, Lincoln, Rhode Island; and Edwin Rodriguez, 35, real estate investor, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, were charged in a 22-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Providence, Rhode Island with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to obtain money they were not entitled to from financial institutions and individuals through mortgage loans, residential property sales and fees.
According to the indictment, it is alleged that between 2007 and 2014, the defendants conspired to execute a scheme which caused prospective homebuyers to obtain mortgages from financial institutions based upon materially false loan applications and fraudulent supporting documentation. It is also alleged that as part of the conspiracy, false representations were made in order to obtain fees to which the defendants were not entitled or to make a profit selling property in which they had an ownership interest. It is further alleged that in some instances, thousands of dollars were fraudulently obtained by misrepresenting on a Housing and Urban Development form the amount of funds due or to be paid to one of the parties involved in a transaction.
It is alleged that in numerous instances, the defendants concealed their involvement in the scheme by conducting business under the names of several different entities and individuals. It is alleged that at times, the defendants used stolen identities to further the fraud and to conceal their connection to the real estate transactions.
Marandola was charged with one count of conspiracy, five counts of bank fraud, three counts of wire fraud and six counts of aggravated identity theft. McCaffrey was charged with one count of conspiracy two counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Marziale was charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. Sienko was charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft. Mohamed was charged with one count of conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of false statement. Rodriguez was charged with one count of conspiracy, once count of bank fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of witness tampering.
The defendants each pled not guilty and were released on unsecured bond following their arraignment before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan.
In September, Franchesco Franco, 34, former mortgage loan originator, Providence, Rhode Island, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Franco admitted to participating in a scheme to defraud Flagstar Bank, by filing a fraudulent mortgage loan application and supporting documentation in the name of a person known to him who is deceased.
In a separate matter, it is alleged that Dylan T. Kelly, 40, Providence, Rhode Island, whose real estate appraiser’s license expired in September 2008, continued to conduct and issue real estate appraisals using the identity, license and insurance certificate of a licensed appraiser without his permission or knowledge. Kelley was charged by way of an information with false statements on a loan application.
The indictment was announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; Christina D. Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General; Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra R. Hebert and William J. Ferland.