Tula Rampersaud, 31, her husband, Sudesh Rampersaud, 31, both from Hollis, New York, and Steven Boswell, 60, Flushing, New York, pleaded guilty to their roles in a conspiracy to commit a million-dollar mortgage fraud involving residential properties in Atlantic City, New Jersey. Each pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Renée M. Bumb to separate one-count informations charging them with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. The three guilty pleas are the latest phase in an ongoing investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division into fraudulent mortgage loans in southern New Jersey.
According to the informations to which the defendants pleaded guilty, other documents filed in this and related cases, and statements made in court:
The Rampersauds and Boswell conspired with Jong Shin and others, from June through December 2006, to obtain more than a million dollars of mortgage loans for unqualified borrowers in order to purchase seven houses in Atlantic City, New Jersey at inflated prices. Shin was indicted with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering on March 24, 2010. The case against Shin is pending.
At their guilty plea hearings, Tula Rampersaud, Sudesh Rampersaud, and Boswell admitted that they served as “straw purchasers” for Shin, falsifying financial information on mortgage documents and purchasing properties in return for promises of cash payments. Tula Rampersaud stated that she met Jong Shin while they were colleagues at a home health care company, and that she was promised $5,000 in return for purchasing a property. Boswell admitted that he had previously been married to Shin, and was promised $3,000 in return for his role in the scheme.
In exchange for purchasing properties in their names, Shin promised the Rampersauds and Boswell that they would not have to pay deposits or closing costs to acquire the properties, would not have to make monthly mortgage payments, and would receive cash after the closing for allowing their names and credit information to be used to buy the properties. In completing the borrowers’ loan applications, the coconspirators claimed fake employers, inflated incomes, false bank account balances, and fictitious assets in order to induce the lenders to extend the mortgage loans. The count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud to which the defendants pleaded guilty carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of not more than $1 million. Sentencing for all three defendants is scheduled for August 2, 2010, before Judge Bumb. Pending sentencing, all three defendants were released on a personal recognizance bond of $100,000.
In determining the actual sentences, Judge Bumb will consult the advisory U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges that take into account the severity and characteristics of the offense, a defendant’s criminal history, if any, and other factors. The Judge, however, is not bound by those Guidelines in determining a sentence. Parole has been abolished in the federal system and thus defendants who are given custodial terms must serve nearly all the time imposed by the court.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced the guilty pleas.
Fishman credited Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael Ward in Newark, New Jersey, and Special Agents of the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division’s May’s Landing Office, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge William P. Offord, for their investigation leading to the guilty pleas.
The Government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Diana Carrig of the Criminal Division in Camden.
The charges and allegations contained in the Indictment against Jong Shin are merely accusations, and the defendant is considered innocent unless and until proven guilty.
Tula Rampersaud is represented by Kalman Geist, Esq., West Patterson, N.J.
Sudesh Rampersaud is represented by Joseph T. Afflito, Sr., Esq., Wayne, N.J.
Steven Boswell is represented by Mark Musella, Esq., Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.