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MORTGAGE BROKER IN LARGE-SCALE MORTGAGE FRAUD RING SENTENCED TO 60 MONTHS IN PRISON

THURSDAY, OCTOBER 28, 2010

BOSTON, Mass. - A mortgage broker was sentenced today to 60 months in prison for his role in a mortgage fraud ring that conducted 21 fraudulent property transactions in the Greater Boston area involving 10 mortgage lenders and more than $10.6 million in loan proceeds.

WIDNER LAMARRE, who changed his name to Raheem Ash-Shakur, 36, of Brockton, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole, Jr. to 60 months imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release. Lamarre pled guilty before Judge O’Toole to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and eighteen counts of wire fraud on March 16, 2010.

At the plea hearing in March, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that in or about 2005 and 2006, Lamarre participated with others in a conspiracy to defraud mortgage lenders in connection with certain property transactions in and around the Boston area. Lamarre acted as a mortgage broker in the underlying scheme to defraud. Lamarre prepared several mortgage loan applications containing false representations for certain property transactions and caused these applications to be submitted to mortgage lenders. As a result, the mortgage lenders wired funds, via interstate wire, to a bank account of a Boston attorney responsible for closing the loans.

Lamarre is part of a large mortgage fraud case in which 10 other defendants were charged. The following five defendants were convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and wire fraud following a seven-week trial: Eric L. Levine of Brookline; J. Daniel Lindley of Jamaica Plain; Ernst Appolon of Braintree; Daniel Appolon of Dorchester, and LaToya Haltiwanger of California. Levine and Lindley were also convicted of money laundering following this trial.

Levine, Lindley and Haltiwanger are awaiting sentencing. They face up to 20 years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 on each count of wire fraud. For the conspiracy, they face up to five years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. On the money laundering counts, Levine and Lindley face up to 10 years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.
Ernst Appolon was sentenced to 120 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release on October 20, 2010; Daniel Appolon was sentenced to 42 months in prison, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release on October 18, 2010; Jermaine Blake was sentenced to 30 months in prison, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release on October 21, 2010; and Samuel Jean-Louis was sentenced to 22 months in prison, to be followed by 2 years of supervised release on October 18, 2010.

Co-defendants Andre Junior Lamerique and Jean Noriscat pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and several counts of wire fraud and are awaiting sentencing. They each face up to 20 years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $1 million fine on each count of wire fraud. For the conspiracy, they face up to five years imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release. Noriscat also pled guilty to several counts of aggravated identity theft and faces a mandatory two years imprisonment for each of the identity theft counts in addition to any other sentence imposed.

Co-defendant Ralph Appolon is scheduled for trial in February 2011.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Robert Bethel, 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 Murrane of Ortiz’s Asset Forfeiture Unit.

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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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