Archives For Connecticut

Victor Cuevas, 52, Bristol, Connecticut, was charged by information and pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Jeffrey A. Meyer in New Haven, Connecticut, to conspiring with others to commit bank fraud in connection with his home mortgage loan applications.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in the summer of 2013, Cuevas, a City of Waterbury employee and, at that time, the elected state representative for the 75th assembly District to the State of Connecticut General Assembly, wanted to purchase a residence at 13 Jefferson Avenue, Bristol, Connecticut with an FHA loan.

The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development provides mortgage insurance on loans made through its FHA program and mortgages offered through the program are subject to certain restrictions, including restrictions on the funds that may be used to purchase properties.

Cuevas, with the assistance of others, represented to the mortgage bank that he was using gifted funds to purchase the property when, in fact, the money was not gifted but was instead loaned to Cuevas for the purpose of purchasing the property.

Specifically, Cuevas first represented to the mortgage bank that an individual who he identified as his nephew but, in fact, was a subordinate employee from the City of Waterbury, was providing him with cash to purchase the property as a gift.  When the mortgage lender asked for the “nephew’s” bank account statements to prove that he had the money to gift to Cuevas, Cuevas withdrew the mortgage application.  A few weeks later, Cuevas had a different Waterbury employee, who Cuevas identified as his “cousin,” “gift” him the $7,000.  Both individuals signed a HUD statement under oath that the funds were, indeed, a “gift” and that no repayment of the monies was expected.  However, as soon as the mortgage closed, Cuevas re-paid the employee the $7,000.

Cuevas pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of five years.  Judge Meyer scheduled sentencing for September 21, 2016.

Cuevas resigned from the Connecticut General Assembly in March 2016.

The matter is being investigated by the Connecticut Public Corruption Task Force, notably the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.  The Task Force also includes members from the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services – Office of Inspector General, U.S. Postal Inspection Service and Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah Karwan.

Ryan Geddes, 44, Litchfield, Connecticut was sentenced to 30 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in multiple conspiracies involving a series of real estate transactions intended to shield assets from creditors.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Geddes had accrued a series of debts as of late 2005, and was the subject of various lawsuits and collection efforts for the next several years.  A bank fraud conspiracy commenced in November 2005 when Geddes sold a lakefront home located at 27 Palmer Road, Morris Connecticut to Thomas Provenzano.  Lacking the funds to qualify for the $923,000 mortgage, Provenzano nonetheless obtained the loan based on an application that falsely listed his income as $20,000 per month, or $240,000 annually, and falsely listed Provenzano as having worked for several years as the Operations Manager for one of Geddes’s construction companies.  Provenzano had not worked in that capacity, and had earned substantially less.  The loan application also listed Geddes’s company as having verified Provenzano’s employment.  In November 2006, Provenzano refinanced the loan, obtaining a $936,000 mortgage from a federally insured bank.  The new loan application, like the prior one, falsely listed Provenzano as employed by Geddes’s construction company, and falsely listed his monthly income as $28,000, or $336,000 annually.  The application again listed Geddes’s company as having verified Provenzano’s employment.  The loan is now in default, and the 27 Palmer Road property is in foreclosure. Continue Reading…

Seven Indicted in Mod Fraud

Rachel Dollar —  February 2, 2016 — 1 Comment

Aria Maleki, 33, of Santa Ana, California; Mehdi Moarefian, a.k.a. “Michael Miller,” 36, of Irvine, California; Kowit Yuktanon, a.k.a. “Eric Cannon,” 31, of Huntington Beach, California; Cuong Huy King, a.k.a. “James Nolan” and “Jimmy, 32, of Westminster, California; Daniel Shiau, a.k.a. “Scott Decker,” 30, of Irvine, California; Serj Geuttsoyan, a.k.a. “Anthony Kirk,” 33, of Santa Ana, California; Michelle Lefaoseu, a.k.a. “Michelle Bennett,” 41, of Huntington Beach, California; were charged in a 14 count-indictment with conspiracy and fraud offenses stemming from an alleged scheme to defraud homeowners across the United States who were seeking mortgage loan modifications

Law enforcement seized approximately $350,000 from various bank accounts, approximately $362,000 from a Bitcoin account, a $100,000 cashier’s check, and a 2013 Ferrari 458 Italia.  Continue Reading…

Mohammed N. Islam, also known as “Tanveer,” 39, Trumbull, Connecticut, was sentenced 14 months of imprisonment, followed by three years of supervised release, for participating in a mortgage fraud scheme that involved dozens of properties in Fairfield County, Connecticut.

According to court documents and statements made in court, between 2006 and 2013, Islam participated in a mortgage fraud conspiracy that involved the purchase of numerous single and multi-family properties, primarily in Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford, Connecticut.  During the scheme, Islam and his co-conspirators provided materially false information to mortgage lenders, including false verifications of mortgage applicants’ income, false verifications of down payments for real estate transactions and false HUD-1 Forms. Continue Reading…

Jason Calabrese, 44, Watertown, Connecticut was sentenced to six months of imprisonment, followed by three months of home confinement and two years of supervised release, for his involvement in a series of fraudulent mortgage loan applications involving a straw borrower. Calabrese also was ordered to pay a $3,000 fine and $400,585 in restitution.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in November 2005, Calabrese ’s co-conspirator, Thomas Provenzano, obtained a $923,200 loan to purchase a lakefront home located at 27 Palmer Road, Morris, Connecticut, for more than $1.1 million, despite lacking the income to pay off the mortgage. The 27 Palmer Road property was owned by an entity controlled by Ryan Geddes, another co-conspirator. Continue Reading…

Anika N. Greene, 42, Bronx, New York, was convicted by a federal jury on charges of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, bank fraud, wire fraud, access device fraud and three counts of aggravated identity theft.

Green was charged in a superseding indicted on July 15, 2014. According to court records and evidence presented at trial, Greene and three other individuals, Jeffrey Washington, Alice Howard, and Catya J. Craig, burglarized Wells Fargo mortgage offices throughout New York, New Jersey, Connecticut and Maryland in 2012 and 2013. The defendants stole over 1,800 mortgage files that were then used in a variety of bank customer impersonation and retail credit fraud schemes, targeting various banks and retailers. Washington recruited individuals to go into banks, impersonate customers and remove funds via setting up business accounts and transferring funds from the accounts of bank customers. Washington and other defendants, including Greene, traveled from New York to the Eastern District of Virginia on multiple occasions throughout 2012 and 2013. Continue Reading…

Matthew Goldreich, 46, East Lyme, Connecticut, pleaded guilty in New Haven federal court to a false advertising offense stemming from his production and dissemination of false advertisements for mortgage modification services.

According to court documents and statements made in court, Goldreich used his New London-based media agency, National Media Connection, LLC, to produce and air television, radio, and Internet advertisements for the National Mortgage Help Center, LLC (“NMHC”), a shell company incorporated by Goldreich. The advertisements falsely claimed that NMHC could help struggling homeowners obtain home mortgage loan modifications. For example, one advertisement that aired in 2010 stated: “Attention homeowners. We know it’s tough out there. And while America’s homeowners are facing more challenges than ever before, the National Mortgage Help Center is ready to help.” The same advertisement also stated: “We may be able to lower your rate to as low as 1% and cut your mortgage payment in half. Our trained specialists know all the new regulations to get you quick relief. We help thousands of homeowners every day.” Continue Reading…

Glorvina Constant, 36, New Haven, Connecticut, was sentenced  to one year of probation for participating in a mortgage fraud scheme.  Her husband, Jason Sheehan, 41, New Haven, Connecticut, was sentenced to 37 months in prison for a bankruptcy and tax fraud scheme involving his company, Infinistaff, LLC.  As part of that scheme, Constant received Infinistaff payroll checks totaling $354,000 during the pendency of Infinistaff’s bankruptcy proceedings even though she performed no work for the company. Continue Reading…

Ann Hils, 55, East Hampton, Connecticut, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson to 63 months of imprisonment, followed by five years of supervised release, for operating a real estate appraisal scheme.

Continue Reading…

Lynwood Patrick, Jr., 39, East Hartford, Connecticut, was arrested on a federal criminal complaint charging him with wire fraud in connection with his submission of a fraudulent application for a personal mortgage modification. Continue Reading…