Friday, December 23, 2011

NJ Man Cops Conspiracy Plea In Straw Buyer Scam Targeting Homeowners In F'closure, Financially Strapped Developers Looking To Unload Unsold Inventory

From the Office of the U.S. Attorney (Camden, New Jersey):
  • A New Jersey man admitted [] to conspiring to participate in a mortgage fraud scheme that caused lenders to release approximately $3 million based on fraudulent loan applications and conspiring to launder the proceeds of the fraud, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

  • Jerry Smith, 45, of Scotch Plains, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering.


  • According to documents filed in this case and statements in court:

    Smith’s co-conspirators located oceanfront condominiums built by financially distressed developers in Wildwood Crest and North Wildwood, N.J., as well as other properties in New Jersey owned by financially distressed homeowners facing foreclosure.

    Smith and his co-conspirators recruited “straw buyers” to purchase those properties. The straw buyers had good credit scores but lacked the financial resources to qualify for mortgage loans.

    Smith’s co-conspirators created false documents, such as fake W-2 forms, pay stubs, bank statements, retirement account statements, and cancelled rent checks, to make the straw buyers appear more creditworthy than they actually were in order to induce the lenders to make the loans.

For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Scotch Plains, N.J., Man Admits $3 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme.

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