States Attorney's Office District of Connecticut
|June 24, 2011||
ATTORNEY PLEADS GUILTY TO BANK FRAUD CHARGE
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that BRIAN P. McMANUS, 43, of Fairfield, waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty today before Senior United States District Judge Ellen Bree Burns in New Haven to one count of bank fraud.
According to court documents and statements made in court, McMANUS, who operated a law practice in New Haven, engaged in a series of fraudulent transactions in his capacity as the closing attorney on a number of real estate transactions. Specifically, McMANUS failed to pay off existing mortgages on the properties involved in the real estate transactions in a timely fashion and illegally used mortgage funds that had been deposited into his IOLTA account for other purposes.
On July 22, 2008, McMANUS handled a real estate closing involving the refinancing of a residential property located in Greenwich. At the time of the closing, there was an outstanding mortgage on the property in the amount of approximately $2 million that was to be paid off using funds being provided by a different lender as part of the refinancing transaction. However, rather than paying off the existing mortgage on the Greenwich property, McMANUS used more than $1.45 million of the new mortgage monies that had been transferred to his IOLTA account to pay off outstanding mortgages from prior, unrelated real estate transactions he had handled, to make monthly payments on the outstanding Greenwich mortgage loan that was to have been paid off in full, and to pay personal and business expenses.
Judge Burns has scheduled sentencing for September 9, 2011, at which time McMANUS faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million.
U.S. Attorney Fein noted that McMANUS has withdrawn from the practice of law and the Connecticut Superior Court has appointed a trustee to oversee the closing of his practice.
This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney John H. Durham.
In July 2009, the U.S. Attorney’s Office and the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the formation of the Connecticut Mortgage Fraud Task Force to investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud cases and related financial crimes occurring in Connecticut. In addition to investigating past mortgage fraud schemes, the Task Force is focusing on emerging crime trends that are associated with the growing tide of foreclosures, including foreclosure rescue schemes, and short sale schemes. Citizens are encouraged to report any suspected mortgage fraud activity by calling 203-333-3512 and requesting the Connecticut Mortgage Fraud Task Force, or by sending an email to firstname.lastname@example.org.
The Connecticut Mortgage Fraud Task Force includes representatives from the U.S. Attorney’s Office; Federal Bureau of Investigation; Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation; U.S. Postal Inspection Service; U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, Office of Inspector General, and State of Connecticut Department of Banking.
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