Wednesday, November 28, 2012

Sixth Defendant Sentenced, Gets 37 Months In Northern NJ Sale Leaseback Equity Stripping Racket

In Trenton, New Jersey, The Alternative Press reports:

  • What began as a joint investigation between the FBI and the IRS known as “Operation Follow The Money,” resulted in the subsequent arrest of several individuals, in July 2009, including Sussex County resident, Crystal Paling.

    On November 9, 2012, in a Trenton Federal Court, U.S. District Judge Peter G. Sheridan sentenced Paling, 52, of Sussex, to 37 months in prison, and imposed a three-year supervised probationary period. Paling was also ordered to pay $532,497 in restitution. [...] In March of 2012, Paling was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, and money laundering, for her participation in a mortgage fraud scheme, that occurred in both New Jersey and Florida.
  • Per the original complaint, Paling and co-conspirators Daniel Verdia, 54, of Mahwah, N.J., Jaye Miller, of Pocono Lake, Pa., and Sandra Mainardi, 52, of Wayne, N.J., participated in a foreclosure bailout scheme working out of an office in Hasbrouck Heights, N.J. Between the periods of February and September of 2005 unsuspecting homeowners who were experiencing financial hardships, sought to either sell or refinance their homes.

    Homeowners were told that they would have the opportunity to repurchase their homes once they were in a more financially stable position. The homes eventually went into default, and the victim homeowners received little monetary return, or no compensation at all for their homes. Paling and her co-conspirators all profited from these transactions estimated at $1 million dollars.

    Paling facilitated these fraudulent transactions by recruiting buyers and sellers. She also falsified documents, and assisted in the transfer of monies.
  • After the arrests of the defendants in 2009, Wesyan Dun, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said of the individuals involved, "Those who are engaged in foreclosure bailout schemes are opportunistic thieves. The defendants in this matter are charged with preying on the financially weak and desperate, our lending industry, and ultimately the taxpayers. To swindle people out of the roofs over their heads is just deplorable. But we will continue working with our partners in uncovering these schemes, bringing the fraudsters to justice, and educating the public."
  • In addition to Paling, Verdia pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud, and money laundering. He was sentenced to 30 months in prison. Miller pled guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud, and money laundering, and has been sentenced to six months in prison. Apolito pled guilty to tax evasion, and was sentenced to five years probation. Robert Gorman, 64 of Long Valley, N.J., another defendant in the case, pled guilty to subscribing to false tax returns, and has been sentenced to two years probation. Mainardi received a 46-month prison sentence for her plea in Florida Federal Court to one count of wire fraud.(1)
For the story, see Sussex County Woman Receives 37 Month Prison Sentence For Committing Mortgage Fraud.

For the U.S. Attorney press release, see Sussex County, N.J., Woman Sentenced To 37 Months In Prison For Phony Mortgage Loan Scheme.

See Targeting Scammers Who Prey On Distressed Homeowners for a U.S. Attorney (Dist. of New Jersey) press release summarizing the sale leaseback equity stripping prosecutions brought by the office during the fiscal year ended September 30, 2012.

(1) For more on this type of foreclosure rescue ripoff, see:

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