Archives For False Documents

Michael Quiroz, Tucson, Arizona, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Raner C. Collins to 36 months in prison.  Quiroz was previously found guilty at trial of wire fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

The evidence established that Quiroz, a loan officer and mortgage broker, was involved in a multi-year, multi-million dollar cash-back mortgage fraud conspiracy.  Quiroz and others recruited straw buyers to purchase residential properties at inflated prices and Quiroz also helped the straw buyers fraudulently obtain the loans needed to purchase the properties.  The methods used to obtain the loans included fake lease agreements, fake letters of employment, fake letters of credit, and false statements of intent to occupy a property as a primary residence.  Portions of the fraudulently-obtained mortgages were diverted to the bank accounts of Quiroz’s co-conspirators, who would thereafter send kickbacks to Quiroz.  Many of the properties purchased during the scheme eventually went into foreclosure, and the lenders’ losses relating to Quiroz’s conduct during the conspiracy totaled approximately $2.3 million.

The investigation in this case was conducted by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation.  The prosecution was handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of Arizona, Tucson.

 

Joseph W. Witkowski, 70, former New Jersey lawyer, Flemington, New Jersey, was sentenced to 48 months in prison for participating in a conspiracy that caused lenders to release $40.8 million based on fraudulent mortgage loan applications and laundered the proceeds of the fraud.  Witkowski previously pleaded guilty to an indictment charging him with one count each of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. U.S. District Judge Joseph H. Rodriguez imposed the sentence in Camden federal court.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Witkowski and his conspirators located oceanfront condominiums overbuilt by financially distressed developers in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey; premier real estate in vacation destinations in Georgia and South Carolina; and properties in New Jersey owned by financially distressed homeowners facing foreclosure. They then recruited “straw buyers” – people with good credit scores but lacking the financial resources to qualify for mortgage loans – to purchase those properties.

Witkowski and his conspirators created false documents, including fake W-2 forms, income tax returns, investment statements, and rental agreements, to make the straw buyers appear more creditworthy than they actually were. They also established numerous telephone lines for companies owned by some of the conspirators so that when a lender contacted the telephone number, the conspirators could falsely verify that a straw buyer was employed by the company listed on his or her fraudulent loan application.

Witkowski also caused fraudulent mortgage loan applications in the name of the straw buyers and supporting documents, which attributed to the straw buyers inflated income and assets, to be submitted to mortgage lenders. Once the loans were approved and the mortgage lenders sent the loan proceeds in connection with real estate closings on the properties, Witkowski and his conspirators had some of the funds wired or checks deposited into various accounts that he and his conspirators controlled.

In addition to the prison term, Judge Rodriguez sentenced Witkowski to three years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $13,105570. As part of his plea agreement, he must forfeit $2,412,899, representing the proceeds of the fraud.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced the sentence.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Timothy Gallagher; and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Jonathan D. Larsen, with the investigation leading to today’s sentencing.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Carrig of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.

Defense counsel: Maggie Moy Esq., Assistant Federal Public Defender, Camden

Stephen Pirt, 37, Mountain House, California, was sentenced to 2 years and 1 month in prison for his participation in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme. According to evidence presented at the trial for co-defendant Erik Hermann Green, 33, Roseville, California, Pirt and Green defrauded the New Century Mortgage Company by submitting false documentation about borrowers’ employment, income and assets, including fraudulent loan applications and other altered bank documents. On September 19, 2013, Stephen Pirt pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley told Pirt, “you were an organizer and leader of the scheme, and you need to be punished for that.”   The judge also explained the need for a proper deterrent effect.

Green is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Nunley on November 19, 2015. Green faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Michael D. Anderson and Special Assistant United States Attorney Josh F. Sigal are prosecuting the case.

David Gotterup, also known as “David Gott,”, 35, Oceanside, New York, and Jason Green, 35, Oceanside, New York, were charged in an eleven-count indictmenet with conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and bank fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud homeowners who were attempting to modify their mortgage loans, and related mail fraud counts.  The indictment also charged Gotterup with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud in connection with a scheme to improperly obtain mortgage loans, and related bank fraud counts, disaster loan fraud, and aggravated identity theft. Continue Reading…

Kenneth Sweetman, 34, Nutley, New Jersey, was sentenced to 24 months in prison for his role in a massive mortgage fraud scheme involving multiple properties in Elizabeth, New Jersey.  Sweetman previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton to an information charging him with one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court: Continue Reading…

Michael P. O’Donnell, 53, mortgage broker, Middleton, Massachusetts was convicted of one count of bank fraud after a three-day bench trial before the Honorable Douglas P. Woodlock, United States District Judge.  Judge Woodlock scheduled sentencing for October 20, 2015. Continue Reading…

George Dravilas, real estate broker, 37, Medinah, Illinois, was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme involving a pair of Chicago apartment buildings.  Dravilas pled guilty in February to one count of bank fraud.  In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman ordered Dravilas to pay $463,110 in restitution.  Dravilas will begin serving his sentence no later than Sept. 21, 2015. Continue Reading…

Cecil Sylvester Chester, 68, accountant, Mitchellville, Maryland; Michael Gerard Camphor, 59, real estate agent, Baltimore, Maryland; and Christopher Andy Kwegan, 58, real estate agent, Randallstown, Maryland were indicted by a federal grand jury on charges arising from the fraudulent purchase of seven properties in Baltimore, Maryland, using fraudulent loan documentation and straw purchasers, resulting in losses of over $1.7 million. Continue Reading…

Nicholas Tarsia, Jr., 67, Totowa, New Jersey, was sentenced to 60 months in prison for conspiring to launder money as part of a $15 million mortgage fraud scam that used phony documents and straw buyers to make illegal profits on overbuilt condos.

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Dwayne Onque, 47, Belleville, New Jersey,  Mashon Onque, 44, East Orange, New Jersey, and Nancy Wolf-Fels, 58, Toms River, New Jersey,  were sentenced for their respective roles in conspiring to defraud financial institutions as part of a $15 million mortgage fraud scam that used phony documents and straw buyers to make illegal profits on overbuilt condos.

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