Wednesday, January 21, 2015

Ex-UC/WNY lawyer indicted over alleged $1 million mortgage fraud scheme

A lawyer that used to have offices in Union City and West New York was one of a dozen people indicted last week over charges of conspiring a $1 million mortgage fraud scheme that would’ve stolen money from lenders, Acting Attorney General John Jay Hoffman announced.

Andrys Sofia Gomez, 47, of Chatham, is alleged to have been the brains of the conspiracy, where she and her co-conspirators are accused of filing fraudulent mortgage applications, falsifying U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) forms, and diverted mortgage proceeds before laundering the funds through her attorney trust account, authorities said.

Gomez and her co-defendants are accused of purchasing three discounted homes – two in Paterson and one in East Rutherford – through “short sales,” which are pre-foreclosure sales where the mortgage holder agrees to permit the home to be sold for less than the amount due on the loan, officials said.

The defendants then allegedly used straw purchasers, who in turn sold each home at a much higher price to a co-onspirator or a buyer whose identity was used without full knowledge or authorization, according to the indictment.

In each case, money was borrowed for the higher-priced sale and the bank was not informed of the short sale, which occurred at about the same time.

Gomez is said to have handled all of the real estate closings and is accused of using the loan proceeds to pay off the short sale prices, keeping the remaining money as profits that were shared with her co-conspirators, authorities said.

In an attempt to conceal her identity in the fraudulent transactions, Gomez allegedly used the name of a male attorney on HUD settlement forms and receiving the loan proceeds in that attorney’s trust account, officials said.

According to court documents, she then laundered the money from that trust account into her own trust account.

Full Article & Source:
Ex-UC/WNY lawyer indicted over alleged $1 million mortgage fraud scheme

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