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TWO DEFENDANTS SENTENCED IN REAL ESTATE SCAM

APRIL 15, 2011

BOSTON, Mass. - A Sharon man and a Brockton woman were sentenced yesterday in federal court for attempting to fraudulently obtain mortgage financing in connection with the fictitious sale of a Dorchester residence they did not own..

ANDRE JUNIOR LAMERIQUE, 29, formerly from Sharon and CARMELLA F. LESSEGUE, 29, of Brockton, were sentenced by U.S. District Judge Edward F. Harrington. LAMERIQUE was sentenced to serve 60 months imprisonment, to be followed by 3 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay $ 340,000 in restitution to a mortgage lender. LAMERIQUE will serve the sentence concurrently with a sentence imposed by U.S. District Judge George A. O’Toole on January 14, 2011 in a related mortgage fraud prosecution. LESSEGUE was given credit for approximately 90 days of previous incarceration and placed on supervised release for a period of 3 years. A third defendant, Judy Bonas, is pending sentencing on June 14, 2011.

All three defendants had earlier pleaded guilty to Conspiracy and two counts of identity fraud. At the earlier plea hearings, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that in a scheme operating from December 2006 until they were arrested at the Suffolk County Registry of Deeds on January 23, 2007, LAMERIQUE, LESSEGUE and Bonas participated in a scheme to obtain more than $435,000 from a mortgage company by creating a fictitious “sale” of a residence in Dorchester without the owner’s knowledge. The recitation of evidence included use of stolen identities and fictitious driver’s licenses by LASSEGUE and defendant Bonas to pose as the “buyer” and “seller” of the property, and thereby fraudulently obtain mortgage financing. LAMERIQUE recruited LESSEGUE for the scheme, and all three defendants knew the identities used by the women were stolen. The scam was discovered by the Massachusetts Financial Crimes Task Force, an inter-agency group composed of federal and state law enforcement authorities. LAMERIQUE, LESSEGUE and defendant Bonas were arrested on January 23, 2007, at the Registry of Deeds when the closing was conducted by an undercover law enforcement officer, acting as the closing “attorney.”

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; 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; and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The case was investigated by the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the IRS, and the FBI, with significant assistance from the Massachusetts State Police, the Boston Police Department and the Suffolk County District Attorney’s Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild and Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

 

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