Despite facing a sentence of 150 years, a 39-year-old Massachusetts man will spend the next four years and nine months in federal prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that cost Wells Fargo nearly $1 million.
Earlier this year, Joseph Pasquale was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and four counts of bank fraud.
According to testimony and evidence presented at trial, Pasquale worked as a real estate sales associate for a brokerage firm based in Cape Coral, Florida.
The United States Attorney’s Office for the Middle District of Florida said that between October 2007 and March 2008, Pasquale participated in the negotiation and sale of four condominium units at the Arbors of Carrollwood, to clients in California and Massachusetts.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Pasquale engaged in a conspiracy to conceal sales incentives that were given to these clients by the seller from mortgage lenders.
Pasquale also allegedly facilitated private loans to the buyer-clients. The buyers then used the secret sales incentives and the private loans to bring cash to their respective real estate closings.
The U.S Attorney’s Office said that as a consequence of his actions, Pasquale helped to cause a loss of approximately $937,000 to Wells Fargo Bank when the mortgages involved in the case went into foreclosure.
Pasquale was found guilty on five total counts earlier this year, and each count carried a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison.
Therefore Pasquale faced 150 years in prison, but Pasquale’s sentence was far less severe than that.