ATTORNEY CONVICTED OF MORTGAGE FRAUD
BOSTON, Mass. - A Boston attorney was convicted today of 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, pleaded guilty today to four counts of wire fraud and six counts of money laundering. United States District Court Judge Nancy Gertner scheduled the sentencing for July 18, 2011 at 2:30 p.m.
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. 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.
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.
U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and William P. Offord of the U.S. Internal Revenue Service’s 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.
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.