FOR FURTHER INFORMATION CONTACT
AUSA VICKIE E. LEDUC or
MARCIA MURPHY at 410-209-4885
May 11, 2009
FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
REAL ESTATE AGENT SENTENCED IN SCHEME
TO DEFRAUD MORTGAGE LENDERS
12 Fraudulently Obtained Properties End Up in Foreclosure
Greenbelt, Maryland - U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams, Jr. sentenced real estate agent Oladipo Olafunmiloye, age 39, of Gambrills, Maryland, today to 46 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for bank fraud and money laundering in connection with a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. At the sentencing, Judge Williams found that Olafunmiloye’s fraudulent scheme incurred losses of $3 million, and ordered him to pay restitution in that amount. Judge Williams also ordered Olafunmiloye to forfeit his interest in a Rolls Royce automobile and funds held in four bank accounts.
According to his plea agreement, Olafunmiloye owned a real estate company known as LAFA. From November 2004 to December 2006, Olafunmiloye organized a scheme in which co-defendants Sidney Okosun, Oyekunle Ikudayisi, Kolawole Aminu and others sought to fraudulently obtain mortgages and refinance loans to purchase properties for sale in Maryland and the District of Columbia that were owned by Olafunmiloye or LAFA, without identifying Olafunmiloye’s ownership interest in the properties. To that end, the defendants recruited individuals to act as purchasers, when in fact, these “straw” buyers became owners of the properties in name only and made almost none of the payments related to the purchase of the properties, including down payments, closing costs and mortgage payments. Rather, Olafunmiloye made almost all of these payments. Members of the scheme obtained mortgage loans for the properties in their own names, using their good credit histories. Olafunmiloye supervised the submission of false statements on loan applications as to the straw buyers’ incomes and their intent to make the properties their primary residences, in order to induce mortgage lenders to make loans at more favorable rates. Olafunmiloye also provided capital to the other defendants in order to perpetuate the scheme. Once the purchase of the properties had been funded, Olafunmiloye defaulted on mortgage payments, which forced the lenders to foreclose, thereby incurring losses.
During the course of the scheme, Olafunmiloye also provided false information to obtain loans in his own name, including loans on five properties, all of which went into foreclosure, resulting in losses to the mortgage lenders of over $492,767 on these properties alone.
Finally, Olafunmiloye laundered money obtained from the fraud scheme, including 12 transactions from August 2005 to September 2006 totaling $308,311.
“These types of crimes create a significant loss of tax revenue and drive buyers into foreclosure,” stated C. Andre' Martin, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Special Agent in Charge. “The IRS-Criminal Investigation is united with the rest of the law enforcement community in our commitment to pursue individuals who create such havoc against our society and economy.”
Sidney Okosun, age 40, a Nigerian national, previously pleaded guilty to bank fraud. Kolawole Aminu, age 45, a Nigerian national, and Oyekunle Ikudayisi, age 39, of White Plains, Maryland, previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy. Aminu was sentenced to 3 years probation and ordered to pay $161,064 in restitution. Ikudayisi and Okosun have not yet been sentenced.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys James A. Crowell IV and Robert K. Hur, who are prosecuting the case.