Michael David Scott, real estate developer, 51, Mansfield, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 135 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of over $11,374,201and to forfeit $7,413,712.  In June 2015, Scott pleaded guilty to counts of 32 counts of wire fraud, 14 counts of bank fraud, and 22 counts of money laundering. Continue Reading…

Anthony Salcedo, mortgage broker, 34, Fair Oaks, California, was sentenced to five years and four months in prison for a mortgage fraud scheme. Salcedo was found guilty by a federal jury of one count of conspiracy and four counts of mail fraud after a five-day trial in June 2015. Continue Reading…

Max Wagenblast, 35, Arlington, Virginia, was sentenced to two years in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, for wire fraud in connection with a scheme to steal over $5 million from his company. Wagenblast was also ordered to pay a fine of $25,000.

According to the his plea, Wagenblast was employed as an asset manager for a Bethesda company (the company) that was the second largest Special Servicer of commercial real estate mortgages in the United States. As a Special Servicer, the company was responsible for administering defaulted commercial mortgage loans and the real estate securing foreclosed loans. The company performed this service on behalf of the REMIC trust that held the mortgage loans on behalf of the certificate holders of the trust. In its capacity as a Special Servicer, the company collected borrower payments and property cash flow and remitted them to the REMIC trust, which was responsible for distributing those funds to the certificate holders. Wagenblast oversaw both the loans and properties that acted as security for the loans serviced by the company, including the application and utilization of funds generated by the properties he managed. Continue Reading…

George Kalivretenos, 59, Miami Beach, Florida, was sentenced to 84 months in prison for a wire fraud and money laundering scheme in which he defrauded borrowers of approximately $5.6 million. Kalivretenos was also ordered to pay $4.18 million in restitution as part of his sentence.

Kalivrentenos pleaded guilty on August 13, 2015. According to court documents, Kalivretenos operated and controlled Jasmine Capital and Jasmine Resources Capital Group, which were lending entities. He also owned and controlled two escrow companies, Escrow Services, LLC, and Escrow Title Services, LLC. Kalivretenos promised to lend companies and individuals millions of dollars after they sent a deposit of 10 percent of the loan amount to a third party escrow company. However, Kalivretenos concealed his control over the escrow company from borrowers. Once the escrow company received the borrowers’ deposits, Kalivretenos spent borrowers’ funds on personal expenses, including two Rolls Royces, a penthouse condominium rented at $18,000 per month, and hotel stays at the Ritz Carlton and Crowne Plaza. He also transferred substantial funds to overseas accounts. Continue Reading…

David B. Pick, loan originator, 47, Bowie, Maryland, pleaded guilty to making false statements arising from a real estate closing.

Pick was a loan originator responsible for preparing loan applications, obtaining documentation to support the representations in loan applications, presenting loan applications to financial institutions for funding and working with financial institutions to close loans.

In 2005, Pick sought a $900,000 construction loan from a mortgage lender to purchase and construct a residence at 1206 Tilghmans Landing Way, Annapolis, Maryland.  The residence was to be constructed by Richland Homes, Inc., owned and operated by Timothy Ritchie, 44, Annapolis, Maryland .  Continue Reading…

Valeri Kalyuzhnyy, 44, Citrus Heights, California, was sentenced to 2 years in prison.

On June 25, 2015, Kalyuzhnyy pleaded guilty to making a false statement on a loan application. According to court documents, Kalyuzhnyy, while working as a mortgage broker, bought two homes using the credit information of a straw buyer. The loan applications that were used to secure the properties contained numerous false statements regarding the buyer’s intent to occupy the property, employer, occupation, and monthly income. In order to support the inflated monthly income listed on the loan application, fraudulent tax returns were submitted. On July 17, 2007, Kalyuzhnyy gave the straw buyer a check for $29,000.

United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced Kalyuzhnyy. The case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Jared C. Dolan prosecuted the case.

Sean McClendon, 49, Elk Grove, California, was sentenced to one year and eight months in prison.

On October 18, 2012, McClendon pleaded guilty to a conspiracy to commit mail fraud for his involvement in a Sacramento, California area mortgage fraud scheme with Anthony Salcedo and Anthony Williams. According to court documents, McClendon and Williams recruited straw buyers to purchase four properties owned by Salcedo or his associates using kickbacks, false financial information for the buyers, and payments outside of escrow.

All properties involved were foreclosed by the lenders, resulting in losses of over $1 million.

In June 2015, a jury found Salcedo guilty of four counts of mail fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced on November 12, 2015. On January 29, 2015, Williams was sentenced to two years and nine months in prison.

United States District Judge Morrison C. England Jr. sentenced McClendon.  The case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Jean M. Hobler and Marilee Miller are prosecuting the case.

Stephen Pirt, 37, Mountain House, California, was sentenced to 2 years and 1 month in prison for his participation in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme. According to evidence presented at the trial for co-defendant Erik Hermann Green, 33, Roseville, California, Pirt and Green defrauded the New Century Mortgage Company by submitting false documentation about borrowers’ employment, income and assets, including fraudulent loan applications and other altered bank documents. On September 19, 2013, Stephen Pirt pleaded guilty to wire fraud.

United States District Judge Troy L. Nunley told Pirt, “you were an organizer and leader of the scheme, and you need to be punished for that.”   The judge also explained the need for a proper deterrent effect.

Green is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Nunley on November 19, 2015. Green faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

The case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation and the Alameda County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorney Michael D. Anderson and Special Assistant United States Attorney Josh F. Sigal are prosecuting the case.

Antonio Pimenta, 47, Neshanic Station, New Jersey, admitted his role in a scheme that used straw buyers and phony loan documents to fraudulently obtain a $400,500 loan on a property in Irvington, New Jersey.

According to documents filed and statements made in court: Pimenta owned and managed Kelmar Construction Co. Kelmar built multiple properties in Irvington, New Jersey. These properties were sold to straw buyers utilizing fraudulent mortgage loans brokered by loan officer, Klary Arcentales, 47, Lyndhurst, New Jersey, and closed by settlement agent Linda Cohen, 57, Orange, New Jersey, who used fraudulent settlement statements to hide the true sources and destinations of the mortgage funds. The straw buyers had no means of paying the mortgages, and many of the properties entered into foreclosure proceedings. Continue Reading…

Silver Buckman, 37, Cherry Hill, New Jersey, her parents, Vincent Foxworth, 70, Turnersville, New Jersey and Cynthia Foxworth, 64, Turnersville, New Jersey, were convicted by a federal jury for a mortgage fraud scheme that stripped the equity from the homes of desperate homeowners facing foreclosure.  The three were found guilty of bank fraud, wire fraud, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud. Their scheme caused losses to mortgage lenders of approximately $3.8 million.

The defendants offered to help financially-vulnerable individuals save their homes from foreclosure or obtain money from the equity in their homes but, instead, defrauded the homeowners and mortgage lenders. Buckman owned and operated Fresh Start Financial Services (“FSFS”), in Mount Laurel, New Jersey and was an employee of American Home Lending as well as a mortgage broker for American One Mortgage (“AOM”). Her father is an experienced Realtor.

Between October 2006 and November 2009, Buckman and her co-defendants allegedly targeted financially vulnerable homeowners and represented to them that they could improve their credit, save their homes from foreclosure, or provide them with money through Buckman’s lease buyback program. The homeowners were told that “investors” would be used to temporarily refinance their homes and that they could repurchase the homes in one year, or once they regained their financial footing. The defendants also allegedly induced the homeowners into signing documents related to the sale and lease of their homes by their representations that the homeowners would remain on the title to their homes, that the equity from their homes would be placed into an individual escrow account in their names, and that new mortgages would be paid from the escrow accounts to establish their timely payment histories.

In order to carry out the scheme, Buckman recruited Vincent Foxworth and Cynthia Foxworth and others to be straw borrowers. Buckman submitted false financial and employment information about the straw borrowers to mortgage lenders. Once lenders agreed to fund the mortgage loans, Buckman prevented the homeowners from receiving the settlement proceeds and did not put money into escrow accounts for the homeowners. Instead, the defendants distributed the proceeds amongst themselves. Buckman used only a fraction of the homeowners’ monies toward the payment of the mortgages obtained by the straw borrowers for the homeowners’ homes and thereby caused the loans to go into default.

U.S. District Court Judge R. Barclay Surrick scheduled a sentencing hearing for January 29, 2016.The defendants each face a potential advisory sentencing guideline range of approximately 87 to 108 months in prison plus restitution.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service and IRS Criminal Investigations. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Anita Eve.