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Wednesday, May 9, 2012

Lawyer Arraigned on $700,000 Mortgage Fraud Charges

Brooklyn Lawyer Arraigned on Mortgage Fraud Charges
The New York Law Journal by Andrew Keshner  -  May 9, 2012

A Brooklyn attorney is facing federal fraud and identity theft charges for his alleged role in a mortgage scheme that defrauded a bank of more than $700,000. According to an Eastern District indictment, Benjamin Turner, 48, and others fraudulently obtained $716,510 in mortgage funds from a 2007 closing using false paperwork and altered checks. Turner allegedly persuaded an unidentified woman to buy a Brooklyn property in 2006. She signed paperwork she thought was a credit check but included a power of attorney that Turner and others used to purchase the property unbeknownst to her.  Co-defendant Jacob Vizel, 55, recruited a second unidentified woman to buy the same property on the promise she would not have to make payments on the mortgage. Before the purchase, Turner told an attorney for Wells Fargo there was a $633,000 lien owed to Four Dolphins Corporation—an entity Turner owned—because the first woman had not made any mortgage payments. At closing, Turner allegedly directed the bank's attorney to send the mortgage funds to a Four Dolphins bank account, which Turner wired to himself, Vizel and others. After "sporadic" payments, Turner and Vizel stopped paying the mortgage by November 2008, according to the indictment.  Turner, who is charged with bank fraud, conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud, and aggravated identity theft, faces a maximum sentence of 30 years. Turner and Vizel, who were arraigned yesterday before Magistrate Judge Lois Bloom, both pleaded not guilty.  During the proceedings, prosecutors and defense attorneys successfully moved to start the 70-day speedy trial clock on June 15 to allow time for plea negotiations. A status conference before Judge Frederic Block is scheduled for that day. Turner was released on $100,000 bond, with the condition the bond be co-signed later this week by another person in addition to his wife. Turner declined to comment on the case outside the courtroom.


pretty sure said...

I don't believe that only 1 lawyer knew what was going on. More lawyers need to be arrested in this case.

Anonymous said...

$100,000 bond and $700,000+ taken. And so many other Eastern District lawyer/property/mortgages/frauds reported? Were any assets seized to prevent disposal? Is the same deal of a 20 year low in financial fraud prosecutions also apply in the Eastern District?

Anonymous said...

I guess once in a long while they have to arrest somebody. To make it look as if they are doing something. Just wondering how the officials will react. When it becomes public knowledge. The amount of mortgage proceeds that they have robbed from Fannie & Freddie themselves. This is a pin hole.

Anonymous said...

This is Sad, because the attorneys draw up the contracts and accepts the down payments and usually if they are other legal docoment that has to be review, they review it but they are not notified of anything else until closing....then the show up to closing representing their client...they usually have nothing to do with acquiring the mortgage(once in a while they might give a referal for bank, then they review final committment from bank, then set up closing)at closing the attorney sits there and advise their clients about documents being signed...the clients have the right to accept mortgage of walk away...not the attorney....the accept their attorneys fee and transaction complete....!!!!!!THE END...they really need to look at the brokers, investors, and the mortgage bankers who are the ones making the monies...NOT the attorney!!!!this is a just wrong!!!!!

Anonymous said...

My ex is a big time Suffolk county mortgage fraudster. I found out long after we parted because I know his hsandwriting.
YES! I can show you the attorneys are involved.Including the one representing the lender. I was a Real Estate sales person for many years and I did not know ex ws in mortgage fraud.With Suffolk employees yes judges clerks lawyers.Did my reserch in county center.

Anonymous said...

From my understanding. They have no right to prosecute annyone for mortgage fraud. The legal system has filthy hands.They have omeone descretely filing fraudulent mortgages for them . He has acces to treasury mers.

Anonymous said...

Fran Moss- Guilty, Francis McInerney Guilty. Conlin guilty. Wm.Sweeney Guilty. This is rat infested court system.Their feces are everywhere.

Anonymous said...

This is like philip baldeo. A big time crook and a fake doctor. Lots of short sales and burning down of properties for the insurance money.

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