Brockton Man Convicted in Fraud Scheme Involving Properties in Roxbury
BOSTON - A Brockton man was convicted today in federal court of defrauding mortgage lenders in connection with the purchase of nine properties in Roxbury.
Leo H. Desire, Sr., 51, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Rya Zobel to 16 counts of wire fraud.
In 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, while he and his associates pocketed the remainder of the proceeds.
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. He 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.
Judge Zobel scheduled sentencing for August 28. Desire faces up to 30 years in prison to be followed by five years of supervised release and a $1 million fine.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Steven D. Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service in Boston, made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kristina E. Barclay and Lori J. Holik 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. 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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