Boston - A North Andover attorney, with an office in Woburn, has been sentenced to two years in federal prison for fraudulently diverting mortgage loan funds from real estate closings he handled.
Daniel S. Braese, 48, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Nathaniel M. Gorton to two years in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $339,737.69. On Nov. 17, 2011, Braese pled guilty to charges of making a false statement in a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) transaction and bank fraud.
Braese, in acting as a closing attorney for real estate transactions, received mortgage loan funds from lenders, which were to be held in his attorney trust account and used for the closings. As closing attorney, Braese was responsible for using loan proceeds to pay off existing mortgages. Instead of paying off existing mortgages, Braese diverted over $400,000 in mortgage funds to other purposes and falsified loan closing documents to conceal his misappropriation of the funds.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Cortez Richardson, Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General and Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation – Boston Field Office, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Levenson of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.
Mortgage fraud is a key focus of the Department of Justice. The Department, alongside its federal, state and local partners, is committed to investigating and prosecuting significant financial crimes and to combating discrimination and fraud in the lending and financial markets, and recovering proceeds for victims of financial crimes.