New York man gets 41 months for participating in multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud conspiracy

Admits to submitting false applications, inflating appraisals, and more

A 42-year-old New York man will spend more than the next three years in prison after admitting that he participated in a mortgage fraud conspiracy that defrauded a number of financial institutions out of millions of dollars.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York, Dirk Hall pleaded guilty late last week to conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud.

Court records showed that between September 2008 and May 2011, Hall and other unnamed conspirators took a number of steps to induce mortgage lenders into providing financing for straw purchases.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, Hall and others submitted false mortgage applications to lenders, inflated property appraisals, and provided lenders with fake down payment checks that made it appear that straw purchases had indeed provided the necessary down payments for certain properties.

Court documents showed that the loan applications contained fraudulently inflated purchase prices, as well as false information about the assets and income of the purchasers of the properties, many of whom were paid to serve as straw buyers.

In furtherance of the scheme, Hall and others conducted simultaneous purchases and sales of the properties in question as part of the effort to conceal the true nature of the sales and to inflate the value of the properties.

To do so, Hall and others used backdated and falsified documents to hide the fact that the purchase and sale occurred on the same day, making it appear like the transaction between the homeowner and the co-conspirator occurred more than 60 days prior to the sale from the co-conspirator to the straw buyer.

As a result of the scheme, several lenders were fraudulently induced to provide millions of dollars of loans on properties that had inflated appraisal values to individuals who had insufficient income and assets to qualify for the mortgages, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said.

And on many of the loans, the straw purchasers and the other borrowers failed to make the required mortgage payments, which caused the mortgages to default.

For his involvement, Hall was sentenced to 41 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release.

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