Florida Woman Sentenced for Bogus Loan Scheme
BOSTON – A Florida woman was sentenced today in connection with an advance fee scheme involving 100 victims throughout the United States, including many in Massachusetts.
Ann Elizabeth Ursiny, a/k/a Ann Stone, 51, was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Richard G. Stearns to 50 months in prison to be served consecutive to her current sentence, three years of supervised release and restitution of $933,456. In September 2015, she pleaded guilty to 19 counts of mail fraud and 17 counts of wire fraud all in connection with a fraudulent scheme in which individuals were induced to pay up-front fees to Ursiny and her entity, Trace Financial Group, Inc., based on representations that those individuals would receive real estate loans, when in fact Ursiny never intended to make any such loans. Ursiny’s co-defendant, Robert O’Connor, pleaded guilty in June 2015 to participating in the same scheme by recruiting victims to apply for loans and pay the advance fees. O’Connor is scheduled to be sentenced on June 29, 2016.
From early 2010 to 2011, Ursiny recruited agents, including O’Connor, in several states to solicit individuals to apply for real estate loans through Trace and pay the advance fees. In return, the agents were paid a portion of those advance fees. Ursiny told prospective victims that Trace had successfully processed and disbursed many loans, when, in fact, none were ever disbursed. Ursiny focused the scheme on prospective applicants who had poor credit or whose homes were underwater, and represented that Trace could replace their mortgage with a new, smaller mortgage with lower mortgage interest payments. In fact, Trace never funded any of the loans, and failed to pay refunds as promised. Victims’ funds were used for Ursiny’s personal and family expenses, and to pay “commissions” to agents.
In 2012, Ursiny was sentenced in the District of Colorado to 71 months in prison in connection with a separate fraud scheme.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.