William Brown, 60, Newark, New Jersey, man was sentenced to 66 months in prison for his role in a $40.8 million mortgage fraud conspiracy, recruiting straw buyers to purchase real estate properties in New Jersey, South Carolina, and Georgia, and causing lenders to release more than $18 million based on fraudulent mortgage loan applications.
The defendant previously pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering. Judge Irenas imposed the sentence in Camden, New Jersey, federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:
Brown recruited straw buyers for his co-conspirators to purchase oceanfront condominiums overbuilt by financially distressed developers in Wildwood Crest, New Jersey, premier real estate in vacation destinations in Georgia and South Carolina, and properties in New Jersey owned by financially distressed homeowners facing foreclosure. Brown‘s co-conspirators caused fraudulent mortgage loan applications and supporting documents to be submitted to mortgage lenders in the straw buyers’ names, attributing to them inflated income and assets in order to induce the mortgage lenders to approve the loans.
Once the loans were approved and the mortgage lenders sent the loan proceeds in connection with the real estate closings on the properties, Brown‘s co-conspirators took a portion of the proceeds from the fraudulent mortgage loans. Brown also admitted that he and his co-conspirators laundered the proceeds of the mortgage fraud by having some of those proceeds transferred to the recruiters and straw buyers. Brown received $96,000 for his role.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Irenas sentenced Brown to three years of supervised release and ordered him to pay $9.3 million in restitution and forfeit $96,000.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from the FBI’s Atlantic City Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; and special agents from IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff, with the ongoing investigation leading to today’s sentence.
U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced the sentence.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney R. Stephen Stigall of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Criminal Division in Camden.
Defense counsel: Frederick W. Klepp Esq., Cherry Hill, N.J.