News and Press Releases

MORTGAGE BROKER, LOAN PROCESSORS AND STRAW BUYER SENTENCED IN MULTI-MILLION DOLLAR MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
February 11, 2011

Wifredo A. Ferrer, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida, John V. Gillies, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Miami Field Office, Henry Gutierrez, Postal Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, and J. Thomas Cardwell, Commissioner, State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation, announced that defendant Anson Joachin, 39, of Parkland, Florida, was sentenced today to 41 months’ imprisonment, to be followed by three years of supervised release for his role in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme. In addition, U.S. District Judge Ursula Ungaro ordered Joachin to pay $2,352,310 in restitution.

Four other defendants were previously sentenced in the case. John Fisher, 35, of Jupiter, Florida, a licensed mortgage broker, was sentenced to 20 months’ imprisonment and was ordered to pay $1,614,927 in restitution. In addition, Fisher agreed to surrender his mortgage broker license. Tracey Balli, 35, of Pembroke Pines, Florida, a loan processor, was sentenced to three years’ probation, one year of home detention and was ordered to pay $1,187,082 in restitution; Justina Bryan, 35, of Hollywood, Florida, a loan processor, was sentenced to three years’ probation, one year of home detention and was ordered to pay $1,165,227 in restitution; and Delano McLennon, 33, of North Lauderdale, Florida, a straw buyer, who was sentenced to three years’ probation, six months home detention and was ordered to pay $489,405 in restitution.

Defendants Anson Joachin and John Fisher previously pled guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and to one count of mail fraud, respectively, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Sections 1349 and 1341 in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. Defendants Tracey Balli, Justina Bryan and Delano McLennon previously pled guilty to one count of making false statements on a HUD-1 Real Estate Settlement Form in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 1001.

According to records filed with the court and statements made during court hearings, the defendants and other conspirators engaged in a scheme to enrich themselves by fraudulently causing houses in Fort Lauderdale, Jupiter, Cape Coral, and Royal Palm Beach, Florida to be bought and sold through straw buyers who obtained high value mortgages based upon fraudulent mortgage loan applications. Defendant Anson Joachin orchestrated the scheme, in which defendant John Fisher, a licensed mortgage broker, Tracey Balli and Justina Bryan, both loan processors, joined. Balli and Bryan, along with other conspirators, recruited straw buyers, including Delano McLennon, to join the scheme.

In order to obtain mortgages on these properties, the defendants submitted and caused to be submitted fraudulent documents to various mortgage lenders across the United States. Based on these false documents, the mortgage lenders issued approximately $2,350,000 in loans to the defendants and their co-conspirators.

Mr. Ferrer commended the investigative efforts of the FBI, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the State of Florida Office of Financial Regulation. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Randy Katz and Jeffrey H. Kay.

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A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at http://www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

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