From Times Ledger:
Just one week after federal investigators busted an alleged mortgage fraud scheme that affected several Queens properties, federal prosecutors indicted 41 individuals last Thursday, including 10 Queens residents, for reportedly raking in $64 million in a similar scandal.
Preet Bharara, the U.S. attorney for the Southern District of New York, unsealed the charges in eight separate cases that were part of an investigation dubbed “Operation Bad Deeds.”
The suspects, who were charged with various counts including conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and bank fraud, allegedly obtained money for fraudulent mortgages for hundreds of properties by using straw buyers, property flips and equity stripping, according to the U.S. attorney.
“As the U.S. economy struggles, we will continue to have a zero-tolerance policy for those who defraud financial institutions and prey on homeowners on the brink of foreclosure,” Bharara said in a statement.
Ten of the 41 suspects included Queens residents and some of the properties were located in southeast Queens neighborhoods, which lead the state in the number of foreclosures.
Joseph Evans, 47, of Middle Village; Jerry Calonge, 34, of Fresh Meadows; Mark Barnett, 44, of Queens Village; Orette Killikelly, 45, of Jamaica; George Esso, 37, Elton Lord, 47, and Faith Esimai, 64, all of St. Albans; Rafick Bakus, 53, of Ozone Park; Norman Barabash, 64, of Bellerose; and Adeolu Adeniji, 50, of Springfield Gardens were all part of the schemes, the U.S. attorney said.