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Monday, November 1, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A mortgage broker convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud by a federal jury in June was sentenced today for various roles in a mortgage fraud ring that involved 21 fraudulent property transactions in the Greater Boston area defrauding 10 mortgage lenders of more than $10.6 million in loan proceeds.

LATOYA HALTIWANGER, who changed her name to LATOYA HALL when she was indicted in May of 2008, 28, formerly of Dorchester and now living in Los Angeles, CA, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. to a term of 30 months imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release.

A total of 11 defendants were indicted in May of 2008. Haltiwanger was found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and seven counts of wire fraud by a federal jury following a seven-week trial in June 2010. Also convicted on conspiracy and wire fraud charges at the same trial were Eric L. Levine of Brookline; J. Daniel Lindley of Jamaica Plain; Ernst Appolon of Braintree; and Daniel Appolon of Dorchester. Levine and Lindley were also convicted of money laundering. Five other defendants pleaded guilty before trial. One defendant is pending trial.

The evidence at the jury trial showed that between May 2005 and June 2006, the defendants participated in a conspiracy to obtain $10.6 million in mortgage loan proceeds by fraud. The scheme involved the use of inflated purchase prices and documents containing numerous false representations, including false information about the purchase price, borrower income, employment, and intent to reside in the property. The difference between actual purchase prices negotiated with sellers and the inflated purchase prices submitted to lenders ranged as high as $255,000 on properties in South Boston, Dorchester, Jamaica Plain, Quincy, Hyde Park and Cohasset, aggregating to more than $1.9 million. From this $1.9 million, the defendants pocketed more than $1.7 million in illegal proceeds. The mortgages on all of the properties were defaulted upon and nearly all went into foreclosure. Haltiwanger participated in the scheme both as a straw buyer for one property and as the mortgage originator on four other properties.

Haltiwanger is the seventh defendant sentenced to date. On October 18, 2010, Judge O’Toole sentenced Daniel Appolon to 42 month in prison and ordered co-defendant Samuel Jean-Louis to serve a prison term of 22 months. On October 20, 2010, Ernst Appolon was sentenced to prison for 120 months and on October 21st Jermaine Blake was ordered to serve a prison term of 30 months. On October 28, 2010, Widner Lamarre was sentenced to 60 months in prison. Earlier today, Jean Noriscat was sentenced to serve a term of 87 months in prison. Eric Levine, J. Daniel Lindley and Andre Lamerique are pending sentencing

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Robert Bethel, Postal Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation, Boston Field Division; Boston Mayor Thomas M. Menino; and Boston Police Commissioner Edward Davis made the announcement today.

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U. S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild and Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit and Mary B. Murrane, Chief of Ortiz’s Asset Forfeiture Unit.

Mortgage fraud is a key focus of the Department of Justice who in November 2009 created the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. 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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