A former real estate attorney and loan officer from Rhode Island were sentenced to federal prison this past week for their involvement in a mortgage fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Justice Department (USDOJ).
The attorney was Louis Marandola, 42, of Providence and loan officer Brian R. McCaffrey, 38, of Warwick, to procure money they were not authorized to from financial institutions and individuals through mortgage loans, residential property sales and fees.
Marandola was sentenced this past Thursday to 48 months in federal prison to be followed by 3 years supervised release. He had previously pleaded guilty on January 13, 2017, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aggravated identity theft.
McCaffrey was sentenced last Friday to 18 months in federal prison, to be followed by 3 years supervised release. He previously pleaded guilty on January 27, 2017, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud.
The USDOJ said that two co-defendants in this matter, Raffaele M. Marziale, 41, of Bristol, a former loan officer who pleaded guilty on February 29, 2016, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft; and Edwin Rodriguez, 35, of Pawtucket, a real estate investor who pleaded guilty on June 1, 2016, to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud, aggravated identity theft and tampering with a witness, are awaiting sentencing.
Gina Ronci Mohamed, 46, of Lincoln, was sentenced on April 25, 2017, to two years probation. Ms. Ronci pleaded guilty on April 22, 2016, to making a false statement to HUD; and Lauren Sienko, 35, of Rehoboth, Mass., was sentenced on April 3, 2017, to two years probation. Ms. Sienko pleaded guilty on January 6, 2017, to making a false statement to HUD.
According to court documents and information presented to the court, an investigation by the United States Attorney’s Office, HUD-OIG, U.S. Secret Service and Rhode Island State Police determined that between 2007 and 2014, the defendants conspired to execute a scheme which caused prospective homebuyers to obtain mortgages from financial institutions based upon materially false loan applications and fraudulent supporting documentation.
As part of the conspiracy, false representations were made in order to obtain fees to which the defendants were not entitled or to make a profit selling property in which they had an ownership interest. In some instances, thousands of dollars were fraudulently obtained by misrepresenting on a HUD form the amount of funds due or to be paid to one of the parties involved in a transaction.
In numerous instances, the defendants concealed their involvement in the scheme by conducting business under the names of several different entities and individuals. At times, the defendants used stolen identities to further the fraud and to conceal their connection to the real estate transactions.