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FORMER MORTGAGE BROKER CHARGED IN FRAUD SCHEME

TUESDAY, AUGUST 31, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A Rhode Island man was arrested today on a criminal complaint charging him with defrauding mortgage lenders in connection with the purchase of three homes in southeastern Massachusetts and Cape Cod.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Robert Bethel, Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Service, Jon T. Rymer, Inspector General of the FDIC and Steven D. Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service announced today that JEREMY DEBARROS, 30, of Richmond, Rhode Island, was charged by criminal complaint with six counts of Wire Fraud.

The complaint alleges that from 2005 through 2006, DEBARROS was a mortgage broker and co-founder of the North Dartmouth, Mass. branch of Mortgage Options of America, Inc. It is alleged that, during this time DEBARROS schemed with others to defraud mortgage lenders in connection with the purchases of properties in Fairhaven, Swansea and Centerville, Mass. All three property transactions were mortgage “rescue” schemes, orchestrated by DEBARROS, whereby homeowners who were on the brink of foreclosure purported to sell their homes to straw buyers.

DEBARROS caused false loan applications for the straw buyers to be submitted to lenders, knowing that information in the applications was not true. In each instance, the straw buyer stated that he or she would reside in the property, when the straw buyers had no such intention. Instead, DEBARROS arranged for the straw buyers to collect “rent” from the original homeowners. All of the properties ultimately were foreclosed upon.

If convicted on these charges, DEBARROS faces up to 20 years imprisonment and a $250,000 fine on each count to be followed by up to three years of supervised release.

Today’s charges represent the sixth case this year in a series of foreclosure rescue frauds prosecuted by the United States Attorney’s Office in the District of Massachusetts.

The case was investigated by investigators from the United States Postal Inspection Service, Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation, and the United States Secret Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney James P. Dowden and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Andrea D. Roller of Ortiz's Economic Crimes Unit.

The details contained in the criminal complaint are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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Mortgage fraud is a key focus of the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice alongside its federal, state and local partners is committed to investigating and prosecuting significant financial crimes. The Department is committed to combating discrimination and fraud in the lending and financial markets, and recovering proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

 

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