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BOSTON, Mass. - A Boston attorney was arraigned Friday on wire fraud and money laundering charges arising out of a mortgage fraud scheme involving properties in Braintree and Malden.

STUART H. SOJCHER, 57, of Leominster, was indicted by a federal grand jury on four counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering. According to the indictment, Sojcher submitted fraudulent loan documents to two mortgage lenders and then misappropriated most of the $1.3 million in proceeds rather than paying off the prior mortgages as directed by the lenders. The indictment alleges that Sojcher also agreed to perform a closing in connection with a legitimate property purchase, but pocketed the proceeds of that loan, along with the down payment made by the buyers, rather than paying the proceeds to the seller. To conceal his fraud, Sojcher issued title insurance on all three of the properties, thereby pocketing the commissions from his sale of the policies and lulling the new lenders, and the innocent homeowners, into believing that the previous mortgages had been paid off.

If convicted, Sojcher faces a maximum of 20 years in prison on the wire fraud charges and 10 years in prison on money laundering charges to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution, and a $250,000 fine on each of the counts.

Sojcher was arrested and arraigned on Dec. 17, 2010. He was released on $25,000 unsecured bond, and is scheduled for a status conference on January 27, 2011.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Special Agent in Charge William P. Offord of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation – Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sarah E. Walters of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

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

Mortgage fraud is a key focus of the Department of Justice, which created the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force in 2009. The task force works to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.


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