Archives For Settlement Statement Fraud

Martin D. Eagan, 50, Montville, New Jersey, today admitted his role in a reverse mortgage fraud scheme that exploited several elderly homeowners.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Eagan, principal of the Martin D. Eagan Law Firm, was an attorney licensed by the state of New Jersey with a practice in Morristown, New Jersey, that primarily focused on real estate transactions, such as loan originations, reverse mortgages and the refinancing of residential homes.

From 2007 through 2010, Eagan, acting as a settlement agent, was required to comply with instructions established by financial institutions that provided loan funds to borrowers. As part of the lending process, Eagan was required to generate and certify HUD-1 settlement statements that Eagan submitted to lenders. The HUD-1 settlement statement itemized the receipt and disbursement of all funds for each real estate closing. HUD-1 settlement statements were required to be approved by a lender before a settlement agent could disburse funds. The disbursement of funds had to mirror the representations made on the lender-approved HUD-1.

Eagan and his conspirators submitted fraudulent documentation to lenders to persuade lenders to approve and fund reverse mortgages and the refinancing of existing mortgages. Fraudulent documentation submitted included false HUD-1s that concealed from the lenders the fact that disbursements of loan proceeds went to conspirators, or entities the conspirators owned or controlled, and false appraisals that overstated the value of homes.

Eagan, his conspirators, and others controlled the loan application process from the time the homeowners applied for loans to the disbursement of loan funds, and ultimately through the diversion of loan proceeds to conspirators.

Eagan pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Anne E. Thompson to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

The conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. Sentencing is scheduled for April 14, 2022.

U.S. Attorney Philip R. Sellinger made the announcement.

U.S. Attorney Sellinger credited special agents of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark, and special agents of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert Manchak, with the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Special Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin Di Gregory and Charlie L. Divine of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General.


James Nassida, 49, West Mifflin, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to one count of bank and wire fraud conspiracy before Senior United States District Judge Donetta Ambrose.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Nassida owned operated a mortgage brokerage business called Century III Home Equity (Century III), which assisted borrowers in obtaining loans collateralized by real estate. At the time of the events at issue, which was between 2002 and 2008, Century III was one of the largest mortgage broker businesses in the Western District of Pennsylvania, and during the course of that timeframe brokered hundreds of millions of dollars worth of loans using more than a dozen different lenders. Many of those loans, however, involved one or more aspects.

Some of the aspects of the fraud included the following:

  • Appraisals that fraudulently inflated the true value of the properties;
  • Settlement statements that falsely reflected that the borrowers made substantial payments associated with the purchases of real estate;
  • Settlement statements that failed to disclose secondary financing;
  • Settlement statements that failed to include cash payments charged by Century III and paid by the borrowers;
  • Settlement statements and closing documents that were backdated to reflect that the settlements had occurred on a date prior to the actual settlement date; and
  • Various loan documents, including loan approval forms, good faith estimates, and underwriting transmittal forms, that failed to disclose secondary financing and falsely represented the combined loan-to-value ratio.

The fraud also involved misrepresentations to some of the borrowers to induce them to enter into the transactions, including concealing the fees Century III received from lenders for the borrowers’ transactions and the impact of those fees on the borrowers’ interest rates; and concealing the nature of the mortgage products, including that some of the mortgage products could negatively amortize. Lastly, the fraud also involved James Nassida’s receipt of kickbacks from the settlement company that he failed to disclose to the borrowers and lenders, as required.

James Nassida submitted multiple fraudulent documents associated with loans in which he served as a loan officer. In addition, loan officers working under his direction regularly submitted false information to lenders and borrowers. Nassida also caused the submission of fake documents to the lender in connection with his purchase of a $300,000 vacation home near Seven Springs, including the following: (1) a settlement statement that overstated the sales price; (2) a loan application that falsely stated his income and assets; and (3) fake statements from an investment company that falsely verified that he had more than $600,000 in investment when he really had about $15,000. In the loan application, James Nassida reported that he earned approximately $980,000 in 2006, but he did not even file his tax returns in 2006, and his reported taxable income in 2004 and 2005 was not even close to that figure.

Judge Ambrose scheduled sentencing for January 10, 2018. The law provides for a total sentence of 30 years in prison, a fine of $1,000,000, or both. Under the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, the actual sentence imposed is based upon the seriousness of the and the prior criminal history, if any, of the defendant.

The plea was announced by Acting United States Attorney Soo C. Song.

Maeble L. Hairston, 57, Red Bank, New Jersey, a lawyer, pleaded guilty to conspiring with others to steal over $1 million from lenders by filing fraudulent mortgage applications, diverting mortgage proceeds and falsifying settlement statements.

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