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Stealing – for spiritual validation

“Normally it’s greed, greed, greed, greed, greed,” the judge told Hillman. “And that’s not what it is. You’re seeking love and spiritual validation.”

Men who used cheap Detroit homes and ‘straw buyers’ in $10 million scheme get prison

Seven men have been sentenced to prison terms ranging from one day to 33 months in a mortgage fraud scheme that authorities said cost banks $10 million.

The scheme took advantage of people with low incomes, but good credit, who were led to believe they were investing in low-cost Detroit homes, according to prosecutors.

U.S. District Judge Bernard Friedman this week sentenced five men to prison and ordered restitution payments. Two others were sentenced in 2014 and 2015.

Federal agents arrested the seven men, Joey Murad, Jeffrey Najor, Peter Allen, Jason Najor, Suhail Hallak, Wasseem Shamoun and Al Karana, in July 2013.

South Jersey lawyer faces prison in mortgage scheme

A Cape May County lawyer faces up to five years in federal prison this month when he is sentenced for conspiracy to commit wire fraud in the purchase of nine North Wildwood condominiums in 2007.

Louis C. Dwyer Jr., who has a law office in Lower Township, pleaded guilty last year to the single count in U.S. District Court in Camden.

Dwyer is a former solicitor and land-use attorney who has appeared before many planning boards across South Jersey.

Prosecutors want pair in $52M mortgage fraud scheme sent back to prison

They lost their bid for a new trial in the largest mortgage fraud case in Nevada.

Now federal prosecutors want a judge to order former real estate broker Eve Mazzarella and her ex-husband, Steven Grimm, returned to prison to continue serving lengthy terms behind bars while they appeal their 2011 convictions.

“The ‘substantial questions’ of law and fact they raised to be released from prison have been resolved by this court in favor of the government,” Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Griswold wrote in court papers filed late Monday.

‘Real Housewives’ star Teresa Giudice making it home for holidays

Teresa Giudice will apparently have a new piece of jewelry this Christmas — and it’s not her usual sparkly style. No, the bling-loving “Real Housewives of New Jersey” star has a plain-looking, waterproof ankle-monitor bracelet in her near future.

If all goes as her attorney expects, Giudice will walk out of the Danbury Federal Correctional Institution on Wednesday and head home to Montville — just in time to celebrate Christmas with her husband, Joe, and their four daughters.

Easton man busted in mortgage fraud scheme

A 64-year-old Easton man – using 13 different alias names – has been arrested in what federal officials call a long-running fraud scheme that targeted dozens of distressed homeowners.

Timothy W. Burke was arrested Thursday for a using a scheme he allegedly created to defraud individuals, mortgage lenders and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development by falsely representing to homeowners who were in, or facing, foreclosure on their homes that he would purchase their homes and pay off their mortgages.

In believing what “Tim Burke,” “William Burke,” “Bill Burke,” “Jeff Burke,” “Kerry Saunders,” “Pat Riley,” “Jim Caldwell,” “Jim Saunders,” “Tom Morrisey,” “Jimmy,” “Phil Burke,” “Phil,” or “Burt” said, many homeowners ultimately lost their houses because Timothy W. Burke (his real name) never paid off the mortgages or negotiated with the lenders, federal officials said.

Former Pittsburgh cop pleads guilty to role in mortgage fraud scheme

A former Pittsburgh policeman honored last year for his proactive policing on the North Side admitted in federal court Monday to his role in a mortgage fraud scheme involving a defunct South Hills company whose president is awaiting trial.

Santino Achille, who resigned from the force Nov. 5, waived indictment before U.S. District Judge Donetta Ambrose and pleaded guilty to bank and wire fraud conspiracy in submitting loan applications that he knew contained false information.

Mr. Achille was involved in a scheme with Century III Home Equity, owned by James Nassida, who was charged last year with bank and wire fraud along with his top loan officer, Robert Denne.

Former Jersey City political candidate Alston, 2 others charged in mortgage scheme

Former state Senate and Assembly candidate Bruce Alston was arrested early Friday morning for his role in a sophisticated mortgage fraud scheme, the Hudson County Prosecutor’s Office announced this morning.

Alston, 44, of Jersey City was arrested along with his sister, Gail Alston, 50, and Maisha Taylor, 42, of Newark, who Alston described on his blog as his former girlfriend.

Bruce and Gail Alston and Taylor have been charged with making/possessing materials to make false government documents, false/tampering with record, theft-illegal retention, tampering with public records, false representation, theft by deception, impersonation and conspiracy to commit those crimes.

Fryar’s next day in court to focus on financial restitution

Former NFL football star Irving Fryar just finished his first week in a New Jersey state prison after a bitter court battle led to a guilty verdict in a $1.2 million mortgage scam.

But his next big fight – his restitution – looms.

On Nov. 9 state Superior Court Judge Jeanne T. Covert will hold a hearing in Mount Holly to determine how much Fryar must pay to the banks that he and mortgage broker William Barksdale victimized in late 2009 and early 2010 with the assistance of Fryar’s mother.

Feds dismiss charges against Brazilian in Miami bank-fraud case

Brazilian Arnaldo Prado flew into Miami for Easter weekend to visit with his mother on exclusive Fisher Island. Prado had made the trip many times before, but this one would be different.

More than a dozen FBI agents arrested him and his mother, Maura Lopes, on charges of participating in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scheme along with four others — including the mother’s ex-husband, who is Prado’s former stepfather.

 But after Prado was jailed without bond for six months at a federal detention center in Miami, the U.S. attorney’s office dismissed the charges this week against the 34-year-old sugar farmer — without explanation.