Archives For Massachusetts

Robert E. O’Connor, 68, Florida, formerly of Beverly, Massachusetts, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard G. Stearns to 29 months in prison, three years of supervised release and was ordered to pay restitution of $627,581, in connection with an fraud scheme involving 75 victims throughout the United States, including many in Massachusetts..  In June 2015, O’Connor pleaded guilty to 13 counts of mail fraud and 15 counts of wire fraud, all in connection with a fraudulent advance fee scheme in which individuals were induced to pay up-front fees to his co-defendant, Ann Ursiny, and her business Trace Financial Group, Inc., based on representations that those individuals would receive real estate loans, when in fact Ursiny never intended to make any such loans.  O’Connor participated in the scheme by recruiting people to apply for loans and pay the advance fees.  O’Connor received a “commission” of $1,000 for each person who paid the advance fees.

O’Connor, who was a self-employed mortgage broker before becoming involved with Ursiny in early 2010, personally solicited approximately 35 people to apply for Ursiny’s nonexistent loans, and also referred a Texas loan broker to Ursiny, which resulted in another 40 people being defrauded.  In total, O’Connor was responsible for about $627,000 in losses out of a total of about $933,000 resulting from Ursiny’s scheme.  Although O’Connor was unaware at the beginning that Ursiny was operating a scam, after several months when none of his clients received the promised funding, O’Connor began lying both to prospective applicants to get their fees and to existing clients to quiet their complaints.  O’Connor told them that some of his clients had in fact received loans from Ursiny or Trace, which he knew was untrue.  He also sent a fabricated letter to clients that purported to be from a satisfied customer claiming to have received financing from Trace, knowing the letter was a fake and that none of his clients ever received any funding from Ursiny/Trace.  In fact, victims’ funds were used for Ursiny’s personal and family expenses, and to pay “commissions” to agents.

In May 2016, Ursiny was sentenced 50 months in prison, to be served consecutive to the 71 month federal prison sentence imposed for a separate fraud scheme she orchestrated in Colorado.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

Arthur Samuels, 41, Mattapan, Massachusetts, a former bank manager was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, two years of supervised release, and was ordered to pay restitution of $2,229,492 in connection with a multi-year, multi-property mortgage fraud scheme in Dorchester, Massachussetts.  In 2012, Samuels pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud.

From 2007 to 2008, Samuels engaged in a scheme with Michael David Scott, and others, to purchase multi-family residences and then sell individual condominium units in the buildings to straw buyers.  Scott, a former realtor and developer, arranged to purchase multi-family residences and then sold individual condominium units to straw buyers recruited as investors by him, Samuels, and co-conspirators, Jerold Fowler and Thursa Raetz.  Scott and his co-conspirators recruited straw buyers with promises that they would not have to make down payments, pay any funds at closing, or be responsible for mortgage payments, and would share in profits when the units were resold.  In order to obtain mortgage loans for some of the straw buyers, Samuels created bogus bank deposits falsely representing that the straw buyers’ accounts had large balances with his bank.  Scott then submitted mortgage loan applications that falsely represented key information, such as the buyers’ income, personal assets, down payment, and intention to reside in the condominiums.  The mortgage lenders, (nine national mortgage companies and one local bank) were led to believe that the straw buyers had made substantial down payments and paid substantial sums at closing.  In addition, Samuels also recruited a straw buyer for the purchase of two condominiums, and acted as a straw buyer himself on three properties.

In November 2015, Scott was sentenced to 135 months in prison, and Fowler and Raetz were sentenced to two years in prison.

Samuels was sentenced by U.S. District Court Senior Judge Mark L. Wolf .  United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; and Joel P. Garland, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston, made the announcement today.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild and Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Criminal Division.

Joseph Pasquale, 39, Worcester, Massachusetts, to four years and nine months in federal prison for conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud. A federal jury found him guilty in January 2016.

According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Pasquale worked as a real estate sales associate for a brokerage based in Cape Coral, Massachusetts. Between October 2007 and March 2008, he was involved in the negotiation and sale of four condominium units at the Arbors of Carrollwood, to clients in California and Massachusetts. Pasquale engaged in a conspiracy to conceal sales incentives from mortgage lenders, which these clients received from the seller, along with private loans that Pasquale made to the buyer-clients enabling them to bring cash to their respective real estate closings. As a consequence of his actions, Pasquale helped to cause a loss of approximately $937,000 to Wells Fargo Bank when the mortgages involved in the case went into foreclosure.

Pasquale was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Elizabeth A. Kovachevich.  The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Housing Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General. It was prosecuted by Special Assistant United States Attorney Chris Poor and Assistant United States Attorney Jay L. Hoffer.

Michael David Scott, former real estate broker, 51, of Mansfield, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud in connection a scheme to defraud a couple of the deposit they paid to purchase three properties in Randolph, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain, Massachusetts.

From February 2011 to October 2013, Scott fraudulently persuaded a couple to sign three Purchase & Sale Agreements to buy properties in Randolph, Roxbury and Jamaica Plain.  The couple deposited $199,000 with Scott under the false promise that their funds would be held in escrow.  However, Scott immediately spent the funds for his own use.   Furthermore, Scott knew that the first property was taken off the market by the sellers, that the bank holding the mortgage had refused to approve the sale of the second property, and that he had sold the third property to someone else.  Scott never informed the couple about the status of the properties, and when they tried to get a refund of their deposits, he falsely assured them their deals were still pending and refused to return their deposits.      Continue Reading…

Michael P. O’Donnell, mortgage broker, 54, Middleton, Massachusetts, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to three years in prison, two years of supervised release and ordered to pay a fine of $150,000 in connection with his role in 20 fraudulent loan transactions in the North Shore area of Massachusetts.  In July 2015, O’Donnell was convicted following a three-day bench trial of attempted bank fraud. Continue Reading…

Jerrold Fowler, 31, was sentenced to two years in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $3,786,815 and to forfeit $7,413,712 and Thursa Raetz, 40, Virginia, was sentenced to two years in prison, three years of supervised release and ordered to pay restitution of $3,099,224 and to forfeit $7,413,712.  Both recruited participants into a multi-year, multi-property mortgage fraud scheme in Roxbury and Dorchester, Massachusetts.    Continue Reading…

Dahianara Moran, 40, Methuen, Massachusetts, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud for to participating in a conspiracy to defraud banks and mortgage companies by engaging in sham “short” sales of residential properties in the Merrimack Valley of Massachusetts.

Moran conspired with others – including a Methuen loan officer and a Haverhill real estate agent who were not identified in the charging document – to defraud various banks via bogus short sales of homes in Haverhill, MassachusettsLawrence, Massachusetts, and Methuen, Massachusetts. Continue Reading…

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…

Michael R. Anderson, 46, attorney, Framingham, Massachusetts, was sentenced to two years in prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $11,048,212 in restitution and forfeit $7,413,712 in connection with a multi-year, multi-property mortgage fraud scheme in Dorchester and Roxbury, Massachusetts.  In January 2011, Anderson pleaded guilty to sixteen counts of wire fraud, nine counts of bank fraud, and two counts of engaging in unlawful monetary transactions.   Continue Reading…

Denise Bruce, 56, Hingham, Massachusetts was indicted on five counts of bank fraud for defrauding mortgage companies in connection with multiple mortgages she obtained on a single residence

According to the indictment, between 2004 and 2008, Bruce fraudulently obtained five mortgage loans from different banks in amounts ranging from $325,000 to $487,500 on her Hingham, Massachusetts, property by submitting false information regarding her employment history, income, assets, and debt.  The indictment also alleges that Bruce filed fraudulent discharges of mortgages with the Plymouth County Registry of Deeds to create the appearance that earlier loans had been paid in full, when in fact, none of the loans had been paid.

The charging statute provides a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison, five years of supervised release, and a fine of $1 million on each count.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Steven Perez, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region; and Michael Rourke, Special Agent in Charge of the Troubled Assets Relief Program, Special Inspector General, New York Field Office, made the announcement today.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Victor A. Wild of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.