allentown mortgage co.'s former manager pleads guilty to fraud
PHILADELPHIA – Joel Tillett, 36, of Whitehall, PA, pleaded guilty yesterday to charges in connection with a mortgage fraud conspiracy. Tillett, the former general manager of Madison Funding, Inc., a now-defunct Allentown mortgage loan origination company, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and to forging or counterfeiting loan documents. The fraud conspiracy caused mortgage lending businesses to issue millions of dollars’ worth of loans that were based on false information.
Tillett was indicted along with five former employees: Jason Boggs, Claribel Gonzalez, Florentina Peralta, Ghovanna Gonzalez, all of Allentown, and Angela Diaz, of Bethlehem. Denise Peralta, also of Allentown, was charged by information.
Tillett admitted in court that between October 2006 and at least June 2008, he conspired to defraud mortgage lenders by submitting loan applications that contained false information about the borrowers which was often supported by falsified, forged, and altered documents. The mortgage lenders, which included Washington Mutual Inc., Countrywide Home Loans, Mortgage IT, International Mortgage Corporation, and Security Atlantic Mortgage Company, relied on the fraudulent representations and provided Madison Funding’s clients with millions of dollars in loans to purchase real estate. Each funded loan generated thousands of dollars’ worth of commissions to Madison Funding and its employees. Many of those loans have since defaulted and some of them were insured by the Federal Housing Administration (“FHA”), which was an agency within the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development (“HUD”).
A sentencing hearing for Tillett is scheduled for August 14, 2013. He faces a maximum possible sentence of seven years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $500,000 fine, and a $200 special assessment.
The case was investigated by the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of the Inspector General, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of Inspector General, and the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark B. Dubnoff.
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