Godwin Asifo, 55, Woodbridge, Virginia, has been convicted of two counts of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud for running a mortgage fraud scheme that resulted in the foreclosure of at least three homes in northern Virginia. Asifo faces a maximum penalty of 60 years in prison and full restitution when he is sentenced on Nov. 20, 2009.
Dana J. Boente, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia and Joseph Persichini Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement after the verdict was accepted by United States District Judge Claude M. Hilton.
According to court documents and as previously reported on Mortgage Fraud Blog, from about May 2005 to June 2006, Asifo recruited straw buyers to purchase at least three homes on his behalf, promising to pay the mortgages and sell the homes for a profit within six months. To ensure the buyers could obtain the loans, he helped to inflate their incomes on loan applications, falsify employment records and provide them with thousands of dollars to artificially inflate their bank accounts.
The three homes – located in Woodbridge, Haymarket, and Ashburn, Virginia, and ranging between $335,000 to $765,000 when purchased – were not sold for profit as expected, and the straw buyers ultimately defaulted on the loans because they were not able to afford the mortgage payments, resulting in substantial losses to the lenders.
This case was investigated by the Washington Field Office of the FBI. Assistant United States Attorney Jack Hanly is prosecuting the case on behalf of the United States.