Two Maryland Men Convicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Used Straw Purchasers and the Stolen Identifiers of Four Other Individuals
to Purchase Six Baltimore Properties - Five Went Quickly Into Default
Baltimore, Maryland - A federal jury has convicted Dema Daiga, age 28, of College Park, Maryland, and Olu Campbell, formerly known as Oluseun Oshosanya, age 29, of Laurel, Maryland, of numerous counts of wire fraud arising from a scheme to defraud a mortgage lending company in connection with six Baltimore properties. Daiga was also convicted of two counts of aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme. The verdict was returned late yesterday.
The verdict was announced by United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the Federal Bureau of Investigation; Special Agent in Charge Barbara Golden of the U.S. Secret Service - Baltimore Field Office; Special Agent in Charge Ken Taylor of the Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General - Office of Investigations and Commissioner of Financial Regulation Sarah Bloom Raskin of the Maryland State Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation.
According to testimony offered during the two week trial, Daiga worked as a mortgage loan broker and assisted with property appraisals and Campbell also worked in the mortgage lending field. Witnesses testified that from August to December 16, 2008, Daiga and Campbell recruited two straw purchasers and used the names and identifying information of four other individuals, without their knowledge or permission to apply for mortgages on six separate properties. The straw purchasers lacked the income and assets to qualify as borrowers or make the monthly mortgage payments. Evidence showed that the defendants: filled out mortgage loan applications on behalf of the straw purchasers and the other individuals whose names and information they used without their knowledge, with false information about those persons’ employment histories, earnings and assets; provided telephone numbers that were under the control of the defendants to any person calling to confirm the false information regarding the employment and earnings; generated fake monthly bank account statements to make it appear that the individuals had sufficient assets to make the down payments, when instead, Daiga or Campbell paid the down payments; on at least two occasions caused appraisals to be performed that inflated the property values; and instructed the title companies to send a substantial part of the loan proceeds to the defendants, or to businesses that they controlled.
According to trial evidence, five of six Baltimore properties purchased under this scheme swiftly went into default, resulting in a loss to a Beltsville mortgage lending company of approximately $664,493.
Daiga and Campbell face a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each of the ten and six counts of wire fraud, respectively, of which they were convicted. Daiga also faces a mandatory minimum sentence of two years in prison for each count of aggravated identity theft, in addition to any sentence imposed for the wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Marvin C. Garbis has scheduled sentencing for August 27, 2010, at 10:00 a.m. for Daiga and at 10:30 a.m. for Campbell.
The Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force was established to unify the agencies that regulate and investigate mortgage fraud and promote the early detection, identification, prevention and prosecution of mortgage fraud schemes. This case, which was referred to the Task Force by the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation, as well as other cases brought by members of the Task Force, demonstrates the commitment of law enforcement agencies to protect consumers from fraud and promote the integrity of the credit markets. Information about mortgage fraud prosecutions is available http://www.justice.gov/usao/md/Mortgage-Fraud/index.html.
This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Jefferson M. Gray and Sujit Raman, who are prosecuting the case.