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Tuesday, March 30, 2010

Corrupt Lawyers Teach Paralegals How To Be Corrupt

Department of Justice Press Release
For Immediate Release
March 26, 2010 United States Attorney's Office
Southern District of New York - Contact: (212) 637-260
0
Paralegal Sentenced in Manhattan Federal Court to Three Years in Prison for Role in Multimillion-Dollar Mortgage Fraud and Foreclosure Rescue Schemes

PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York, announced that MARINA DUBIN, a real estate paralegal, was sentenced yesterday to two concurrent three-year prison sentences in connection with her involvement in a multimillion-dollar, sub-prime mortgage fraud scheme and another foreclosure rescue scheme. DUBIN, 33, of Brooklyn, New York, pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud on June 12, 2008, before United States District Judge RICHARD J. HOLWELL, who also imposed the sentence yesterday in Manhattan federal court.

According to the Indictment, other documents filed in these and related cases, and statements made in court:

The Mortgage Fraud Scheme

From 2004 through January 2007, DUBIN was a paralegal who acted as the bank attorney and settlement agent for numerous loans obtained by the participants in a wide-ranging mortgage fraud scheme. The scheme was led by ALEKSANDER LIPKIN, 31, of Brooklyn, New York, and other participants included mortgage brokers and loan processors who worked at the Brooklyn mortgage brokerage firm AGA Capital NY, Inc. ("AGA Capital") and its successors, as well as real estate appraisers, loan account executives, a lawyer, straw buyers, and others. DUBIN and her co-defendants submitted loan applications containing false information and material omissions, as well as other false documentation such as bank statements, to obtain loans that otherwise would not have been funded. During the course of the mortgage fraud scheme, AGA Capital and its successors brokered over 1,000 home mortgages and home equity loans with a total face value of at least $200 million dollars and earned at least $4 million in commission fees on those loans. The various lenders defrauded by the scheme have claimed actual losses of approximately $11.6 million on loans that have completed foreclosure. Of the 27 defendants charged in this case (United States v. Aleksander Lipkin, et al.), 25 pleaded guilty; one of the defendants, attorney ALEXANDER KAPLAN, 35, of Brooklyn, New York, was found guilty following a jury trial and is scheduled to be sentenced on April 6, 2010.

GARRI ZHIGUN, 33, of Brooklyn, New York, who supervised the operations of AGA Capital and was LIPKIN's business partner, was sentenced on May 28, 2009, by Judge HOLWELL to 100 months in prison, three years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $2.5 million and pay approximately $11.6 million in restitution.

The Foreclosure Rescue Scheme

From November 2003 through April 2005, MAURICE McDOWALL, 55, of Brooklyn, New York, LIPKIN and DUBIN engaged in a fraud scheme targeting homeowners whose homes, primarily in Brooklyn and Bronx, New York, were in foreclosure or facing foreclosure, by offering them a plan to "save" their homes. The proposed plan included the refinancing of the homeowners' debt with new, larger mortgages. Because the distressed homeowners typically had poor credit and were not eligible to refinance their debt at favorable terms, the defendants induced them to "sell" their homes to straw buyers, who would apply for loans to be used to "save" the home. The defendants promised that once the straw buyer obtained the mortgage, the proceeds would be used to pay off the homeowners' old debt and make one year's worth of payments on the new loans. The homeowners were told that, during that year, they could continue to live in their homes and work on improving their finances and credit. Finally, the defendants explained to the homeowners that, at the end of the year, the title to their homes would be returned to them by the straw buyers, with their credit repaired and their homes saved. There were also cases in which the defendants did not explain to homeowners that the plan to "save" their home required them to deed their house to a third party and did not obtain permission to deed the homes to others. In such cases, the defendants effectively stole the property of the homeowners by forging the homeowners' signatures on various documents that transferred the homes to straw buyers without the homeowners' knowledge.

McDOWALL, who directed the daily operations of the scheme, and LIPKIN, a mortgage broker who coordinated the submission of fraudulent information to lenders on behalf of straw buyers, obtained more than 80 home mortgages and/or equity loans valued at over $20 million. In some instances, the defendants failed to make even one payment on the loans, causing the loans to default immediately; in nearly every other case, they eventually failed to make the payments and defaulted on the loans, thereby "cashing out" on the properties. As a result, the distressed homeowners lost the titles to their homes and faced eviction, the straw buyers owed the lenders hundreds of thousands of dollars that they were unable to repay, and the lenders suffered losses from the defaulted loans. DUBIN served as the settlement agent for the vast majority of the fraudulent loans obtained in the course of the scheme. In that capacity, she organized closings, prepared documents, and disbursed the fraudulently obtained proceeds to various defendants. McDOWALL was previously sentenced by United States District Judge ROBERT P. PATTERSON to 120 months in prison and three years of supervised release, with 100 hours of community service to be performed in the first year after release. In addition, Judge PATTERSON ordered McDOWALL to forfeit $2.5 million. Of the three other defendants charged in this case, one pleaded guilty and the other two were found guilty on charges of conspiracy, wire fraud, and bank fraud, following a 12-day jury trial in Manhattan federal court.

LIPKIN was sentenced by Judge HOLWELL for his role in both the mortgage fraud scheme and the foreclosure rescue scheme (United States v. Maurice McDowall, et al.) on June 4, 2009, to 110 months in prison, five years of supervised release, and was ordered to forfeit $7 million and pay approximately $11.6 million in restitution. In addition to the 36-month prison term, DUBIN was sentenced to three years of supervised release. Judge HOLWELL also ordered DUBIN to forfeit $7 million and pay approximately $11.6 million in restitution. Mr. BHARARA praised the work of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York City Police Department, and the Department of Homeland Security's U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He also thanked the New York State Attorney General's Office for its role in the investigation. This case was brought in coordination with President BARACK OBAMA's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, on which Mr. BHARARA serves as a Co-Chair of the Securities and Commodities Fraud Working Group. President OBAMA established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes. This case is being prosecuted by the Office's Organized Crime Unit. Assistant United States Attorneys JONATHAN B. NEW, AVI WEITZMAN, JULIAN J. MOORE, and JOHN T. ZACH are in charge of the prosecutions.


BACKGROUND STORY:

Leader Of Foreclosure Scheme And Mortgage Broker Plead Guilty
The Mortgage Fraud Blog - June 6, 2008

Maurice McDowall, 49, and Aleksander Lipkin, a/k/a ”Alex," 29, pleaded guilty in Manhattan federal court to participating in a wide-ranging home foreclosure rescue scheme, which defrauded homeowners who were facing foreclosure and banks and other lenders who made mortgage and home equity loans. Lipkin also pleaded guilty to participating in another scheme to defraud numerous subprime mortgage lenders. As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog and according to the Indictment to which both McDowall and Lipkin pleaded guilty (United States v. Maurice McDowall, et al., 07 Cr. 1054), and the superseding Indictment to which Lipkin also pleaded guilty (United States v. Aleksander Lipkin, et al., S2 06 Cr. 1179), other documents filed in the cases, and statements made during the guilty plea proceedings:

Regarding the foreclosure rescue scheme, from November 2003 through April 2005, McDowall and Lipkin engaged in a fraud scheme targeting homeowners whose homes, primarily in Brooklyn and Bronx, New York, were in foreclosure or facing foreclosure, by offering them a plan to “save” their homes. The proposed plan included the refinancing of the homeowners’ debt with new, larger mortgages. Because the distressed homeowners typically had poor credit and were not eligible to refinance their debt at favorable terms, the defendants induced them to “sell” their homes to third parties, or straw buyers, who would apply for loans to be used to “save” the home. The defendants promised that once the straw buyer obtained the mortgage, the proceeds would be used to pay off the homeowners’ old debt and make one year’s worth of payments on the new loans. The homeowners were told that, during that year, they could continue to live in their homes and work on improving their finances and credit. Finally, the defendants explained to the homeowners that, at the end of the year, the title to their homes would be returned to them by the straw buyers, with their credit repaired and their homes saved. There were also cases in which the defendants did not explain to homeowners that the plan to “save” their home required them to deed their house to a third party and did not obtain permission to deed the homes to others. In such cases, the defendants effectively stole the property of the homeowners by forging the homeowners’ signatures on various documents that transferred the homes to straw buyers without the homeowners’ knowledge. In furtherance of the scheme, McDowall and Lipkin submitted loan applications to various banks and lending institutions on the straw buyer’s behalf. In submitting these applications, the defendants regularly used documents containing false or misleading information, including information concerning the straw buyer’s income, assets, and existing debt, to improve the straw buyer’s credit-worthiness. In addition to false statements concerning the straw buyers’ financial profile, the defendants misrepresented to lenders that the straw buyers intended to reside in the property that would secure each mortgage or loan, when, in fact, the properties were already occupied by the distressed homeowners.

McDowall, who directed the daily operations of the scheme, and Lipkin, a mortgage broker who coordinated the submission of fraudulent information to lenders on behalf of straw buyers, obtained more than eighty home mortgages and/or equity loans valued at over $20 million. In some instances, the defendants failed to make even one payment on the loans, causing the loans to default immediately; in nearly every other case, they eventually failed to make the payments and defaulted on the loans, thereby “cashing out” on the properties. As a result, the distressed homeowners lost the titles to their homes and faced eviction, the straw buyers owed the lenders hundreds of thousands of dollars that they were unable to repay, and the lenders suffered losses from the defaulted loans. The defendants’ profit consisted of the difference between the value of the new and old loans; they also earned at least $1.4 million in fees.

Regarding the subprime scheme, from 2004 through January 2007, Lipkin participated in a scheme to defraud various subprime banks and lending institutions. Lipkin conspired with other mortgage brokers and processors who worked at the mortgage brokerages AGA Capital NY, Inc. (”AGA Capital”) and Northside Capital NY, Inc. (”Northside Capital”), in Brooklyn, as well as with real estate appraisers, loan account executives, a paralegal, a lawyer, straw buyers, and others. Lipkin and his co-defendants submitted loan applications and supporting documents with false information and material omissions, as well as other false documentation such as bank statements, to subprime lenders in order to induce the lenders to make loans that otherwise would not have been funded. In some instances, the conspirators obtained mortgages in the names of persons whose identities had been stolen. During the course of this scheme, AGA Capital, its successor, Lending Universe Corporation, and Northside Capital brokered over one thousand home mortgages and home equity loans with a total face value of at least $200 million dollars. AGA Capital, Lending Universe and Northside Capital earned a total of at least $4 million in commission fees on the loans. The subprime lenders that issued the mortgages and loans brokered by Northside Capital, AGA Capital and Lending Universe have suffered actual losses of at least $4.5 million as a result of the fraud scheme. McDowall pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Rpbert P. Patterson, and Lipkin pleaded guilty before United States District Judge Richard J. Holwell. McDowall pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. He faces a maximum prison term of thirty years and a maximum fine of the greater of $1 million or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss resulting from the crime, and he must pay restitution to the victims of his crime. In addition, McDowall also agreed to forfeit a total of $2.5 million. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Patterson on September 9, 2008.

Lipkin pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail, wire and bank fraud. He faces a maximum prison term of thirty years and a maximum fine of the greater of $1 million or twice the gross pecuniary gain or loss resulting from the crime, and he must pay restitution to the victims of his crime. Lipkin also agreed to forfeit a total of $7 million. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge HOLWELL on October 10, 2008. Of the four other defendants charged in United States v. Maurice McDowall, et al., one has pleaded guilty and the rest await trial, which is scheduled for June 23, 2008. As to the defendants awaiting trial, the charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Of the 26 other defendants charged in United States v. Aleksander Lipkin, et al., four have pleaded guilty and the rest await trial, which is scheduled for November 17, 2008. As to the latter group, the charges are merely accusations, and the defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. Mr. Garcia praised the efforts of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, New York City Police Department, and U.S. Immigration and Customs Enforcement. He also thanked the New York State Attorney General’s Office for its outstanding work in the investigation. Assistant United States Attorneys Katherine R. Goldstein and Jonathan B. New are in charge of the prosecution.

11 comments:

Anonymous said...

Bernadette E. Lupinetti, esq. is a schemer but with children, she schemes in child custody cases in order for children to be sexually exploited. How come the FEDS and the Office of Andrew Cuomo continues to protect this pimp, criminal that deserves the death penanlty for her crimes against children and families.

Anonymous said...

Who else should teach ways to rip off people, under the color of law, to the legal support folks?

Anonymous said...

Okay.. What's the deal?

I have fraudsters just like the ones mentioned in the article..

Car54 where are you??

Anonymous said...

THERE IS NO CRUELER TYRANNY THAN THAT WHICH IS EXERCISED UNDER THE COVER OF LAW AND WITH THE COLORS OF JUSTICE

We the citizens of New York State ask for our useless agencies to be investigated and shut down for their uselessness and cover up scheme to defraud the citizens of New York State & the New York State Court System.
We ask for a "Federal Monitor and hotline where the citizens may contact a federal entity to present evidence and allegations of violations of federal laws within and about the New York State Police and Court System."

Anonymous said...

Hello, Gov't Guys, show us your efforts are to bring our system of law into order.....
WE WANT A FEDERAL NUMBER TO REPORT FEDERAL CRIMES - PEOPLE THERE TO ANSWER THE PHONE, INVESTIGATE OUR COMPLAINTS AND PROSECUTE!

Anonymous said...

They can't even figure out when to claim they sold a home or how much to say they sold it for...

Fraud, Fraud, and more Fraud..


Property History
Date Event Price Appreciation Source
Aug 19, 2009 Sold (Public Records) $265,000 -- Public Records
Jun 29, 2009 Sold (MLS) $250,000 -- Inactive MLSLI #2136819
May 04, 2009 Delisted -- -- Inactive MLSLI #2136819
Apr 24, 2009 Listed $265,000 -- Inactive MLSLI #2136819

Anonymous said...

This case was brought in coordination with President BARACK OBAMA's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force

has anyone noted they claim to be trying to correlate our agencies to stop the insanity and all the agencies involved in this......

our thanks are anticipated with our TASK FORCE!

Anonymous said...

sounds the the false medical, police and court paperwork........
all those dates and charges seem to change...........

oopsies, we lost that paperwork, taped over that, we will just write up new one's, creative accounting has never been more fun!

Anonymous said...

this happens in the courts ALL the time, they make it up as they go along...has the US Attorney discovered a cesspool to be drained? YOU BET!

Anonymous said...

Bet the lawyer gets out before the paralegal.
Was the paralegal doing what she was told to by her boss and could she have thrown the other guy under the buss to save her butt?
I never trust theses cases lawyers takwe care of other lawyers and they will let the lawyer throw the paralegal under the buss. The lawyer they are prosecuting always has the upper hand.

Anonymous said...

if the paralegal had a phone number to call to have that lawyer investigated, would they have called or did they say screw it, no one investigates lawyers, I will get what I can get......
gotta pay my bills!

WE WANT A FEDERAL PHONE NUMBER TO CALL FOR LEGAL/COURT/POLICE/POLITICIAN CORRUPTION & A TASK FORCE!

Blog Archive

See Video of Senator John L. Sampson's 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption

The first hearing, held in Albany on June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:


               Video of 1st Hearing on Court 'Ethics' Corruption
               The June 8, 2009 hearing is on two videos:
         
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 1
               CLICK HERE TO SEE Part 2