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OCTOBER 24, 2011

BOSTON - A developer and a recruiter were arrested today in connection with a multi-year, multi-property mortgage fraud scheme in Massachusetts.

SIREWL R. COX, 36, formerly of Boston and LORD R. ALLAH, 40, of Burlington, have been indicted on charges of wire fraud, bank fraud and money laundering.

The indictment alleges that from 2006 through 2008, COX and ALLAH committed fraud in connection with condominium sales in Mass. According to the allegations in the indictment, COX identified multiple-family buildings for sale and recruited straw buyers to purchase the buildings. COX, ALLAH and others then recruited straw buyers to purchase individual units in buildings that COX controlled. ALLAH also allegedly participated as a straw buyer in the scheme. The straw buyers’ financing for the purchases was obtained by submitting mortgage loan applications that falsely represented key information, such as the buyers’ income, employment, assets and/or intention to reside in the condominiums. Deals were closed with HUD-1 settlement statements that falsely represented that straw buyers had made down payments and paid other funds in connection with the property transactions, and that falsely represented how the proceeds of the mortgage loans were disbursed.

If convicted of bank fraud the defendants each face up to 30 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release and a $1 million fine. The counts of wire fraud carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine. If convicted of the money laundering charges, the defendants face up to 10 years in prison to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; Steven Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Robert Bethel, Postal Inspector in Charge of United States Postal Inspection Service; and Cortez Richardson, Special Agent In Charge of the Office of Housing and Urban Development – Office of the Inspector General made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz's Economic Crimes Unit.

The details contained in the Indictment are allegations. The defendants are 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. The Department of Justice alongside its federal, state and local partners is committed to investigating and prosecuting significant financial crimes. The Department is committed to combating discrimination and fraud in the lending and financial markets, and recovering proceeds for victims of financial crimes.



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