Boston - A Canton man was sentenced today in federal court for orchestrating a large-scale property mortgage scam involving over $5.5 million in mortgage loan proceeds and separately stealing $120,000 in down payments from potential buyers in Mass.
Prince Charles Eweka, 46, of Canton was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris to 72 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, restitution of $120,000 plus interest and forfeiture of approximately $986,000. On Oct. 5, 2011, Eweka pleaded guilty to a superseding information charging him with ten counts of wire fraud for his criminal conduct.
In 2006 and 2007, Eweka committed fraud in connection with eight condominium sales in two buildings in Dorchester. Eweka paid straw buyers to “purchase” individual units in buildings that he controlled. Eweka promised straw buyers that they would not have to make down payments, pay funds at the closing, or be responsible for mortgage payments. The straw buyers’ financing for the purchases was obtained by submitting mortgage loan applications and other documents that falsely represented key information. The deals were closed with HUD-1 settlement statements that falsely represented that the straw buyers had made substantial down payments in connection with the property transactions. The straw buyer mortgage fraud involved a total of 27 separate property deals in Mass., over $5.5 million in loan proceeds, and was conducted over a period of several years.
Eweka also carried out a separate fraud in which he stole $120,000 in down payments made by three individuals in 2010. Eweka was the listing real estate agent for a property located in Lexington. Eweka collected down payments from prospective buyers of the property, which Eweka agreed to hold in escrow pending completion of the transaction. He then took the funds for his own purposes and mollified the buyers by assuring them that the transaction was still on track to move forward, albeit with delays.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division and Robert Bethel, Inspector in Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.