BOSTON - A Brockton man was sentenced today in federal court for defrauding mortgage lenders in connection with the purchase of nine properties in Roxbury.
Leo H. Desire, Sr., 52, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Rya W. Zobel to four years in prison, a $75,000 fine and restitution of over $2.8 million. Desire will be deported to Haiti upon completion of his prison term. Desire was also ordered to forfeit $897,000 in proceeds obtained from the fraud. Desire pleaded guilty to 16 counts of wire fraud on May 23, 2012.
Had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that, in September 2006, Desire offered to purchase nine condominium units located at 28, 30 and 32 Cobden Street in Roxbury from a developer. Before that sale closed, Desire had orchestrated the sham sales of each of the nine units to straw buyers with fraudulently obtained financing. Desire used some of the mortgage fraud proceeds to pay the purchase price to the developer, then Desire and his associates pocketed the remainder.
For each unit sale, Desire orchestrated the submission of false mortgage loan applications which, among other things, falsely represented that the property would be the borrower’s primary residence. Desire also arranged the creation of false documents, including earnings statements, Forms W-2 and bank statements, and caused those false documents to be submitted to mortgage lenders in support of loan applications. No payments were made on any of the mortgages and the nine Cobden Street units were ultimately foreclosed upon.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Steven D. Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kristina E. Barclay of Ortiz’s Public Corruption and Special Prosecutions Unit.
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.