Woman Admits Using Straw Buyers to Perpetrate Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Allison Tussey —  February 6, 2014 — Leave a comment

Klary Arcentales, 45, Lyndhurst, New Jersey, admitted her role in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme that caused millions of dollars in losses.

The defendant pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Esther Salas in Newark federal court to an indictment charging her with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and four counts of bank fraud.

As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, and according to the documents and statements made in court:

Between 2007 and 2012, Arcentales engaged in a mortgage fraud conspiracy through a company called Premier Mortgage Services (Premier), where she worked as a loan officer. Arcentales provided false and fraudulent documents to financial institutions in connection with mortgage loan applications on behalf of straw buyers to induce those financial institutions to fund mortgage loans. Arcentales then profited illegally by receiving a commission from Premier for each mortgage loan that she closed and by diverting portions of the fraudulently obtained mortgage proceeds to herself.

Two other conspirators, Lester Soto, 57, Freehold, New Jersey, and Linda Cohen, 56, Orange, New Jersey, previously pleaded guilty in connection with their roles in the mortgage fraud scheme. Soto acted as a loan officer on certain Premier mortgage loan applications and took a percentage of Premier’s profits. Soto employed document makers to create false and fraudulent documents in furtherance of the scheme and put loan officers at Premier, including Arcentales, in contact with these document makers to create other false and fraudulent documents. Soto is scheduled to be sentenced on February 10, 2014.

Cohen was a paralegal who served as the settlement agent on mortgage loans brokered by Arcentales for various properties. Cohen convened closings, received funds from lenders, and prepared HUD-1 reports that claimed to reflect the sources and destinations of funds for mortgages on subject properties. However, the HUD-1s were neither true nor accurate. Cohen is scheduled to be sentenced February 18, 2014.

Arcentales faces a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million or twice the gross gain or loss caused by her offense. Sentencing is currently scheduled for May 19, 2014.

U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced the guilty plea.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Aaron T. Ford, and special agents of the IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea. Fishman also thanked the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Edward Ryan, for its participation in the investigation.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Rahul Agarwal and Zach Intrater of the Criminal Division in Newark.

Allison Tussey

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