SOUTHINGTON MAN INDICTED FOR
ALLEGED MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that a federal grand jury sitting in New Haven has returned a two-count indictment charging HENRY J. PAPALE, 60, of Southington, with two counts of wire fraud stemming from an alleged mortgage fraud scheme. The indictment was returned yesterday, September 29.
The indictment alleges that, in early 2007, PAPALE used the name and credit information of an acquaintance to purchase properties in Florida. PAPALE claimed that he did not earn enough income and did not have a credit score sufficiently high to enable him to qualify for loans for the properties he wished to purchase. In February 2007, PAPALE initiated the purchase of one property in Davenport, Florida. Although the actual sales price of the house was $280,000, the HUD-1 settlement statement listed the sales price as $375,000, and also a $83,750 credit to the buyer for improvements. PAPALE subsequently received a loan in the amount of $378,413 from a lending institution in Colorado.
It is further alleged that PAPALE submitted a fraudulent invoice to the settlement agent that distributed the loan proceeds purportedly for renovation work done on the property when, in fact, no work had been performed. The settlement agent then wired $83,950 to a bank account of a family member. The family member, believing that the money wired into his account represented the proceeds of a separate real estate transaction in which he and PAPALE were involved, then wrote PAPALE a check in the amount of $76,000. PAPALE instructed his family member to keep the remaining balance as money due from the separate transaction.
If convicted, PAPALE faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years and a fine of up to $1 million, on each count.
U.S. Attorney Fein stressed that an indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Calvin B. Kurimai.
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. 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.
To report financial fraud crimes, and to learn more about the President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, please visit www.stopfraud.gov.
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