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Alleged Co-Conspirators In Mortgage Fraud Scheme Charged

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
May 7, 2012

 

PHILADELPHIA - Timothy Cook, 28, Eric Itzi, 30, Eric Maratea, 27, and Richard VonMinden, 33, were charged today in separate informations with conspiring with John C. Lucidi, Jr., charged elsewhere, to commit wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. As part of the scheme, mortgages were fraudulently obtained for properties in North Wildwood, New Jersey and West Chester, Pennsylvania.

Cook, of Media, Pennsylvania, was charged with conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with his 2007 purchase of two properties in North Wildwood, New Jersey. It is alleged that he and Lucidi caused false information to be submitted in support of his loan applications, including falsely inflated sales prices, so that, after closing, he could obtain cash back totaling tens of thousands of dollars that was not disclosed to the lenders.

Itzi, of Philadelphia, was charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering in connection with his 2007 purchase of two properties in North Wildwood, New Jersey. It is alleged that he and Lucidi caused false information to be submitted in support of his loan applications, including falsely inflated sales prices, so that, after closing, he could obtain cash back totaling tens of thousands of dollars that was not disclosed to the lenders.

Maratea, of Philadelphia, was charged with conspiracy, wire fraud, and money laundering in connection with his 2007 purchase of two properties in North Wildwood, New Jersey. It is alleged that he and Lucidi caused false information to be submitted in support of his loan applications, including falsely inflated sales prices, so that, after closing, he could obtain cash back totaling tens of thousands of dollars that was not disclosed to the lenders.

VonMinden, of Las Vegas, Nevada, was charged with conspiracy and wire fraud in connection with his 2008 purchase of a property in West Chester, Pennsylvania. It is alleged that he and Lucidi caused false information to be submitted in support of his loan application, including a falsely inflated sales price, so that, after closing, he could obtain cash back totaling over ten thousand dollars that was not disclosed to the lender.

If convicted of all charges, Cook and VonMinden each face a maximum possible sentence of 35 years in prison, a five year period of supervised release, a fine of up to $1.25 million, a $200 special assessment, and full restitution; Itzi and Maratea each face a maximum possible sentence of 45 years in prison, a five year period of supervised release, a fine of up to $1.5 million plus up to twice the amount of the criminally derived property involved in the money laundering transactions, a $300 special assessment, and full restitution.

These cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division, and the United States Secret Service. They are being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Nancy E. Potts and Denise S. Wolf.

UNITED STATES ATTORNEY'S OFFICE, EASTERN DISTRICTof PENNSYLVANIA
Suite 1250, 615 Chestnut Street, Philadelphia, PA 19106
PATTY HARTMAN, Media Contact, 215-861-8525

 

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