Juan Velez, 60, Waterford, Connecticut, pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Robert N. Chatigny in Hartford, Connecticut, to one count of bank fraud stemming from a mortgage fraud scheme. Velez pleaded guilty in the middle of his trial, which began on June 17, 2013.
According to court documents and statements made in court, in 2006 and 2007, Velez and others engaged in a mortgage fraud scheme involving multiple properties in New London, Connecticut. As part of the scheme, Velez acquired properties from a co-defendant and other individuals and then sold the properties to another co-defendant, Flavia Mendoza, at inflated prices using fraudulently obtained mortgage loans.
In pleading guilty, Velez specifically acknowledged that he was involved in the fraudulent transaction of a property located at 624-626 Montauk Avenue, New London, Connecticut. As established in court and acknowledged by Velez during court proceeding, when Velez sold the property to Mendoza there were a number of significant false statements contained in the loan paperwork, including Mendoza’s income, her intention to occupy the property as her primary residence, and the amount of money she was providing to purchase the property.
Additionally, the Housing and Urban Development Settlement Statement form (HUD-1), which Velez signed, falsely stated that Mendoza had provided Velez with approximately $29,760 for the purchase of the property when Mendoza had not, in fact, provided any down payment money for the transaction. Based on these false statements, Mendoza obtained a mortgage loan in the amount of $492,699 from the bank.
Velez, Mendoza and others shared the profits of this and other fraudulently obtained residential mortgage loans, which totaled more than $1.2 million.
Judge Chatigny has scheduled sentencing for September 12, 2013, at which time Velez faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years. Mendoza also has pleaded guilty and awaits sentencing.
Deirdre M. Daly, Acting United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced the guilty plea.
This matter is being investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Michael S. McGarry and Peter S. Jongbloed.