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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 20, 2013

Developer Sentenced To 12.5 Years In Prison For Orchestrating Massive Mortgage Fraud Involving Over $7 Million In Loss

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BOSTON – A Boston man was sentenced late yesterday on charges relating to a massive mortgage fraud that he orchestrated.

Sirewl R. Cox, 38, was sentenced by U.S. Judge Denise J. Casper to 150 months in prison and three years of supervised release. On Nov. 15, 2013, following a 16-day jury trial, Cox was convicted of wire fraud, bank fraud and conducting an unlawful monetary transaction.

In 2006 and 2007, Cox identified multiple-family buildings for sale and recruited straw buyers to purchase the buildings. Cox and others then recruited straw buyers to purchase individual units in buildings that Cox controlled. The straw buyers’ financing for the purchases was obtained by submitting mortgage loan applications and other documents that falsely represented key information, such as the buyers’ income, employment, assets, and/or intention to reside in the condominiums. Deals were closed with HUD-1 settlement statements that falsely represented that straw buyers had made down payments and paid other funds in connection with the property transactions, and that falsely represented how the proceeds of the mortgage loans were disbursed.

United States Attorney Ortiz said, “This case involved the largest mortgage fraud scheme perpetrated in the run up to the financial crisis by a convicted defendant in this district. Sham transactions like the ones in this case help drive up prices for legitimate homeowners, and the abandonment of properties to foreclosure that often results further victimizes the affected neighborhoods. So-called ‘white-collar’ crimes like this one have a profound and direct impact on the lives of innocent homeowners.”

Cox is the fourth defendant involved in this scheme to be sentenced. Three other defendants pleaded guilty and have been sentenced. In December 2012, Lord Allah was sentenced to 18 months in prison. In January 2013, Rebecca Konsevick was sentenced to 30 months in prison while Latonya Burnett was sentenced to three years of probation.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Thomas P. Baker, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service; John G. Collins, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Kevin M. Niland, Inspector in Charge of U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of the Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.