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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Massachusetts

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Monday, August 29, 2022

Former Real Estate Attorney and Wife Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud and Tax Charges

BOSTON – A former Massachusetts attorney and his wife have been sentenced in federal court in Boston in connection with various mortgage fraud schemes.

Barry Wayne Plunkett Jr., 62, and Nancy Plunkett, 57, both of Hyannis Port, were sentenced on Aug. 25, 2022 by U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf. Barry Plunkett was sentenced to 78 months in prison and five years of supervised release. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $3,236,466 and forfeiture of $3,221,403. Nancy Plunkett was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and five years of supervised release. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $3,054,759, jointly and severally with Barry Plunkett, and forfeiture of $3,221,403. On March 4, 2022, Barry Plunkett pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft and one count of tax evasion. On the same date, Nancy Plunkett pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud.

Prior to being disbarred in October 2017, Barry Plunkett owned and operated the Plunkett Law Firm where his wife, Nancy Plunkett, served as his office assistant and paralegal.

The defendants engaged in several bank fraud schemes. In one scheme, from September 2012 to July 2016, the defendants defrauded six mortgage lenders and 14 homeowners for whom the Plunkett Law Firm handled the closings for new mortgage loans to refinance residential properties. The Plunketts informed the mortgage lenders that pre-existing mortgages were paid off from the new loan proceeds when, in fact, they intentionally failed to pay off the prior liens and instead converted more than $1 million in payoff funds for their own purposes. 

In other bank fraud schemes – between April 2015 and March 2018 – the Plunketts fraudulently used various names, entities and false documents to obtain three successive mortgage loans on their home in Hyannis Port in amounts of $412,000, $470,000 and $1.2 million. The defendants pledged as collateral a property in Hyannis Port that was held in a family trust for which Barry Plunkett was one of three beneficiaries. Both defendants participated in providing false documents to the lenders, including false title reports and other records to falsely represent that the property was free and clear of existing mortgage liens and forged documents in the names of other people. The defendants also made misrepresentations to a lender that Nancy Plunkett was a single woman living in Wellesley who was purchasing the property in her maiden name as a business investment when, in fact, the defendants had been married since 2014 and the property was their residence.

United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Robert Manchak, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild and Mackenzie Queenin of Rollins’ Securities, Financial & Cyber Fraud Unit and Carol Head, Chief of Rollins’ Asset Recovery Unit, prosecuted the case.

Topic(s): 
Tax
Financial Fraud
Identity Theft
Component(s): 
Updated August 29, 2022