FORMER MASS ATTORNEY CHARGED WITH MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME
BOSTON, Mass...A Pennsylvania man, formerly a practicing attorney in Boston, was charged today in federal court with 13 counts of wire fraud, one count of mail fraud and one count of money laundering, all in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme which took place in 2006 and 2007.
CHARLES SAMMON, 35, of West Pittston, PA, was charged in an indictment alleging that as a closing attorney and as a buyer and seller of real property, he defrauded mortgage lenders in connection with the financing of purchases of several residential condo units in and around Boston. It alleges that as a closing attorney, SAMMON caused buyers to execute documents representing they intended to make their properties their primary residences, which SAMMON knew was false. It also alleges that SAMMON caused buyers to execute Settlement Statements (HUD-1's) which: falsely represented that the buyers had provided funds in connection with the purchase - when they had not; falsely represented the actual disposition of the loan proceeds, often failing to disclose that the buyer was to receive a portion of the loan proceeds back; and failed to disclose that the buyer had been promised that the seller would be responsible for the mortgage payments and other costs associated with the property for approximately a year. According to the indictment SAMMON, on some occasions, conducted two closings simultaneously for two properties being purchased by the same buyer, and caused the buyer to execute documents representing that he intended to live in each property as his primary residence. In connection with one such transaction, SAMMON allegedly caused $48,000 in loan proceeds to be paid to himself, in addition to his fees as closing attorney.
The indictment also alleges that SAMMON engaged in this scheme in his personal capacity by buying two three-unit residential properties, which he re-sold to buyers with the promise that he would pay them $30,000 for each unit purchased and would pay the mortgage and other expenses for a year, none of which was disclosed to the respective mortgage lenders.
If convicted on these charges, SAMMON faces up to 20 years imprisonment to be followed by 3 years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on each of the mail and wire fraud charges, and 10 years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine on the money laundering charge.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; Jon Rymer, Inspector General of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation; Robert Bethel, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Steven Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.
The details contained in the indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.