Monday, October 26, 2009

10 Queens people arrested in mortgage scam

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.

1 comment:

Lino said...

Ever listen to some of the ethnic radio programs on stations such as WPAT-am? Their Caribbean programming is -still- full of high pressure loan offers.

One of the cute tactics is to sell immigrants these run down shithouses that need a lot of work for what is in fact top dollar..but seems cheap in comparison to the surround structures.

Three of my Mexican and Filipino friends bought such places. I lent them the down payments and then again an almost equal amount to make them safe and habitable.

I'am not surprised that the whole banking-real estate scheme collapsed. Of the three individuals I mentioned, none had a declared income above $14K/yr -yet each got mortgages varying from $270K -$365K...w/NO collateral other than the dumps they bought...ALL of the R.E. agents and bank reps were Latino and draw your own conclusions.

The good news here is that all three have kept their heads above water by renting every inch of space that their families didn't need. Basements: rented. Garages:rented. Front of house: paved-rented for parking.
Hell of a way to live.