Sofia Atias, 44, Great Neck, New York, Joseph Atias, 50, Great Neck, Nicholas A. Pellegrini, 51, Garden City, New York, and Paula Berckhoff, 34, Garden City, have been charged with bank fraud and conspiracy for allegedly defrauding Bank of America of over half a million dollars by avoiding foreclosure on a home through a fraudulent short sale of the property to a straw buyer.
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A six-count indictment was unsealed in federal court charging six people with bank and wire fraud concerning their alleged participation in a scheme to defraud lenders using fraudulent loan applications, falsified HUD-1 Settlement Statements and inflated appraisals.
David Higgs, a former Managing Director in the Investment Banking Division of Credit Suisse Group, was sentenced to time served in connection with a scheme to hide more than $100 million in losses in a mortgage-backed securities trading book at Credit Suisse.
Michelle Vinas, 55, Florida, who was convicted of financial institution fraud affecting M&T Bank, was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution totaling $423,434.98 by U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara.
Rodney Walker, 44, Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Court Judge Richard J. Arcara, to wire fraud for his role in a scam whereby the defendant promised a standby letter of credit, which he could monetize into $100 million in loans.
Barry Stephen Zornberg, 54, Hauppauge, New York, pleaded guilty at the federal courthouse in Central Islip, New York, to lying to federal investigators about his role in a million-dollar foreclosure rescue fraud scheme. The scheme ensnared at least 10 families, defrauding them of approximately $1.3 million in home equity and caused some of them to lose their homes.
Ralph Pecorale, Long Island, New York, a real estate lawyer, has been cleared of mortgage fraud charges after a Brooklyn, New York, Supreme Court judge dismissed an 18-count indictment against him, though the charges against the six other defendants remained in place.
Keith Anthony, 46, Elmont, New York, the former President and owner of a company that purported to provide financing for home purchases to people with poor credit, and a former employee of the company, Anthony Podias, 39, Levittown, New York, have been indicted for their alleged participation in a scheme that victimized more than 100 financially struggling people across the country.
Ifeanyichukwu Eric Abakporo, 52, a Nigerian citizen, now a resident of Queens, New York, and a pastor at a Bible Church, has been sentenced to six years in prison for his role in a real estate fraud scheme wherein he swindled a multi-million dollar property from an elderly woman.
Joseph Del Valle, 59, Aventura, Florida, an owner and partner of various investment companies, including Vanquish Acquisition Partners LLC and PM Capital Management LLC, which were based in Manhattan, New York, surrendered on charges of wire fraud and wire fraud conspiracy for operating a fraudulent scheme related to a Florida real estate development project.