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Thursday, November 3, 2011

Lawyer Louis Cherico Convicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Lawyer Is Convicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
The New York Law Journal by Mark Hamblett  -  November 3, 2011

An Eastchester attorney was convicted late Tuesday in a mortgage fraud scheme that prosecutors say netted him and his co-conspirators millions in illegal loan proceeds. Louis E. Cherico, 70, was convicted following a three-week trial in Manhattan federal court of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, bank fraud related to three separate mortgages and one count of money laundering. He was acquitted of two additional counts of bank fraud and one count of obstruction of justice.  Southern District Assistant U.S. Attorneys Nicholas L. McQuaid and Jason A. Masimore proved to the jury that Mr. Cherico played a key role in a fraudulent scheme to purchase multi-million dollar properties in Westchester County, serving as the lawyer who negotiated and closed transactions that were based on loan applications, contracts of sale, deeds, real estate transfer documents and title reports containing false or misleading information about the income, assets, existing debt and credit-worthiness of the borrower as well as the chain of title on the properties and the sale price of the homes.  Mr. Cherico, once the principal of Cherico, Cherico & Associates in White Plains, also laundered the illegal proceeds from one transaction by transferring the proceeds from an account he controlled to one controlled by co-conspirator Dominick DeVito, who pleaded guilty and is now serving four years and three months in prison.  Mr. Cherico faces a maximum of 30 years in prison on the conspiracy and bank fraud counts, and a maximum of 20 years on the money laundering count. Mr. Cherico is scheduled to be sentenced by Judge Colleen McMahon in March. Yesterday, defense lawyers Susan C. Wolfe of Hoffman & Pollok and Patrick T. Burke of Burke, Miele & Golden gave the court notice of their motion to seek a judgment of acquittal and a retrial for their client.

********* Related Story: 

Eastchester Lawyer Convicted, Faces Up To 30 Years in Real Estate Fraud Scheme
The Journal News by Timothy O'Connor  -  November 3, 2011

An Eastchester lawyer faces up to 30 years in a federal prison after a jury in Manhattan found him guilty in connection with a fraudulent real estate investment scheme.  Louis Cherico, 70, was convicted of bank fraud, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit bank fraud following a three-week trial before U.S. District Judge Colleen McMahon.  He was cleared by the jury of two counts of mortgage fraud and one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice.  Cherico's lawyer, Susan Wolfe, said Cherico's defense team intends to file post-trial motions seeking acquittal and move forward with appeals if those motions fail.  "We are disappointed in the jury's verdicts on the counts where he was convicted," Wolfe said. "We're gratified by the acquittals," she added.  The charges against Cherico, who practiced in New York City and Westchester County, involved three mortgages on multimillion-dollar properties in Westchester, prosecutors said.  Several others were previously convicted as co-conspirators in connection with the scheme.  Dominick DeVito, 46, of Harrison, the ringleader, is serving 51 months in prison. Robert DiDonato, 41, of Purchase was sentenced to 18 months in prison. John Liscio, 51, of Eastchester received 12 months behind bars. Louis Cordasco Jr., 46, of West Harrison, was also sentenced to 12 months in prison.  Cherico served as the closing attorney for the purchases in 2002 that were arranged by using phony documentation to obtain mortgage loans — which were sometimes in excess of 100 percent of the purchase price, prosecutors said.  The homes were in Eastchester, Rye, and Purchase. Cherico then helped DeVito launder the proceeds from one of the transactions, prosecutors said.  He is scheduled for sentencing March 6.  In addition to the prison time, he faces a possible $1 million fine.

CLICK HERE TO SEE RELATED STORY, "Officers of Court Help Organized Crime"
CLICK HERE TO SEE BACKGROUND STORY and FBI PRESS RELEASE, "Westchester Attorney Indicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme"


old friend of Lou said...

Lou could cut himself a great deal if he would just start talking about what he knows. The feds are waiting, Lou. Come on, you can turn the 9th JD upside down (and especially Westchester) Oh, one more thing, Lou- tell the feds what you know about Jonathan Lippman and Francis Nicolai. Cut a nice deal, do a year and write a screenplay about how the mob controlled the court system in New York.

Anonymous said...

I agree. Lou, start talking to the feds.

Anonymous said...

A crooked lawyer in Westchester county?
I can't believe it. LOL

Anonymous said...

Where was Cuomo and where is Cuomo now with all this NY lawyer corruption? The costs of of these frauds is passed on to other borrowers. When is Cuomo going to act against the Chief Judge? Has Cuomo added "any NY lawyer or judge" to Cuomo's "too big to fail program"?

retired in white plains said...

Lou knows a lot about Westchester.
I heard he's already started talking.
Unfortunately because he knows so much it may take years for federal agents to get a grasp of how bad things are in Westchester and Rockland.

Anonymous said...

Get real. Talking to who at the Eric Holder justice department? The NY AG wants to end corruption and cut off its pay to play system? Take two Cuomos and one Eric Holder and call me tomorrow morning. The entire State of NY needs a special prosecutor appointed from outside NY and Washington.

Anonymous said...

he has already cut his deal.
but i hope the feds go after the entire family

Anonymous said...

he has already cut his deal.
but i hope the feds go after the entire family

Anonymous said...

Move over West Chester.Mortgage fraud is so bad in Suffolk.The county itself has a secret employee on its payroll using phony id.Double and triple funding the mortgages pior to filing.Using variations of the purchasers name and sec blk & lot.
The police and sheriffs are helping stage auto accidents.
The system is a circus.

Anonymous said...

He may have been guilty but I know with out a reasonable doubt that ,that man raise his children right very strict an honorable. I am guessing he wanna better for his kids not to turn out like him.

Anonymous said...

How is New Crystal Restoration in Port Chester still in business if they have been accused and convicted of insurance fraud? My insurance agent recommended them to me, thank god I googled Louis Cordasco Jr. first!

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