Seven people, including a lawyer and three mortgage brokers, are facing an 82-count indictment on charges they bought and sold the same Bedford-Stuyvesant home on four separate occasions over a span of four years by stealing a woman's identity and securing four mortgages worth $2 million, the Queens District Attorney's Office announced Tuesday.
The suspects, identified as Ralph Pecorale, Thomas Debonis, Leonard Sudler, Richard Sudler, Marco Ramos, Sophia Welsh and Yves Mathieu, are accused of buying and selling a home located at 698A on DeKalb Ave. as many as four times, between 2005 and 2009.
According to the Queens District Attorney's Office, the group initially purchased the building, which was apparently vacant for the past 35 years, in 2005, using a straw buyer, whom they helped get a loan using false information.
The purchase was for $600,000 and the mortgage was for $544,000, the indictment said. In addition, the indictment charges in 2006 the ring arranged for the building to be sold to a different straw buyer, for $715,000.
With two mortgages equaling the full sale price, the defendants were reportedly able to pay off the first mortgage and rake in $102,000.
Eventually, the suspects stopped making mortgage payments, and in 2007 the house went into foreclosure. However, the indictment charges that on Feb. 14, 2008, the group settled the debt with the bank.
In addition, they allegedly sold the property to another straw buyer that same day -- this one apparently using a stolen identity -- who had obtained a $675,000 mortgage. As a result, the suspects made a tidy profit of $151,00 in a single day.
The Brooklyn's District Attorney's Office launched an investigation into the case when the mortgage defaulted on the home in 2009, and the suspects were negotiating with another bank for another false sale.