Mavis Samuel, 41, and Carlyle Ebanks, 55, New York, have been convicted for selling the same Crown Heights, New York building twice, to two different straw buyers.
They were convicted of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree and multiple counts of Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree. When they are sentenced April 13, 2010 they will face up to 15 years in prison.
As previously reported on Mortgage Fraud Blog, the defendants first sold 1162 Pacific Street, Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York in September 2004. In that transaction, they paid a straw buyer $4,000 to buy the building. Though the straw buyer held the deed, Ebanks and Samuel maintained control of the building. While the straw buyer was recovering from a traumatic brain injury in spring 2005, Samuel convinced him to deed the property back to her.
Then, in November 2006, Ebanks approached a friend and told him that if he bought the building, Samuel and Ebanks would make him a partner in their real estate investment company. The defendants illegally inflated the “partner’s” income and savings account balance on a $1 million mortgage application, to buy 1162 Pacific Street, Bedford-Stuyvesant, New York for that price. With that “sale”, they paid off the mortgage on the original straw purchase, pocketed between $300,000 and $400,000, and maintained ownership.
In the time between the two sales, the building burned down. The case originated with the investigation into a string of suspected arsons in Crown Heights, New York in early 2006.
Kings County District Attorney Charles J. Hynes made the announcement.
Rackets Division Bureau Chief Laura Neubauer prosecuted the case. Michael Vecchione is Chief of the Rackets Division.