Woman Sentenced for $8.9M Mortgage Scam

Allison Tussey —  February 25, 2013 — Leave a comment

Ashley Elizabeth Prasil, 28, a North Carolina resident, formerly of Eden Prairie, Minnesota, was sentenced in federal court for her role in a scheme that defrauded mortgage lenders out of approximately $8.9 million.

United States District Court Judge Susan Richard Nelson sentenced Prasil to three years of probation and ordered her to perform 150 hours of community service on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Prasil was also ordered to pay more than $2.2 million in restitution to the lenders victimized through the scheme. Prasil was charged via Information on April 21, 2011, and pleaded guilty on May 19, 2011.

Prasil admitted that from December 18, 2006, through December of 2007, she conspired with others to defraud mortgage lenders who provided mortgages at the Cloud 9 Sky Flats, Minnetonka, Minnesota, a condominium development. The scheme involved finding buyers to apply for mortgage loans to purchase units in the development, with each buyer receiving a kickback of approximately 30 percent of the reported purchase price. The loan applications and forms submitted to the lenders did not disclose these kickbacks, resulting in buyers and others secretly getting a portion of the loan amounts back after closing. The kickbacks were returned to the buyers through an account controlled by Prasil‘s co-defendant Sheri Delich, after a portion had been skimmed off for co-conspirators.

On February 15, 2013, Delich, 47, Apple Valley, Minnesota, was ordered to serve five years of probation and six months of home confinement on one count of conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud and one count of money laundering. Judge Nelson also sentenced former real estate agent, My Dinh Lam, 32, Minneapolis, Minnesota, to three years of probation on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud for his role in finding buyers for the program.

More than 40 Cloud 9 units were sold through the scheme, and more than 80 percent of the loans have since defaulted.

Under the sentencing guidelines, Prasil could have been sentenced to more than two years in prison. The Court noted, however, that Prasil had provided assistance to the government and that her sentence was being reduced because of her cooperation in the investigation.

This case was the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Robert M. Lewis.

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Allison Tussey

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