BOSTON – A Longmeadow couple has been arrested in connection with a scheme to defraud commercial lenders by providing false and fraudulent rent rolls and forged lease agreements for properties located in Springfield, Mass.; East Longmeadow, Mass.; and Enfield, Conn.
Louis R. Masaschi, 57, and his wife Jeanette Norman, 56, were indicted by a federal grand jury in Springfield on one count of conspiracy to committed wire fraud; two counts of wire fraud; and one count of aggravated identity theft. The defendants were arrested on May 23, 2023 and released on conditions following an appearance in federal court in Springfield. They are next scheduled to appear in U.S. District Court on July 24, 2023.
According to the indictment, Masaschi and Norman were partners in dozens of limited liability companies through which they owned primarily commercial and some residential property in Western Massachusetts, Connecticut and elsewhere. These companies included Longmeadow Hospitality; JLL Realty Developers, LLC; Shaker Rd, LLC; and 79 Enfield Realty, LLC. It is alleged that Masaschi and Norman conspired with each other and others to fraudulently obtain loans for their companies from financial institutions and commercial lenders by providing materially false, fictitious and fraudulent financial information – including false rent rolls and fraudulent lease agreements. After receiving the loans, Masaschi and Norman allegedly made some or no payments and ultimately defaulted on the loans, causing substantial losses to the financial institutions and commercial lenders.
According to the indictment, on or about May 11, 2018, Masaschi and Norman obtained a $350,000 loan for JLL Realty Developers, LLC, secured by the first mortgage of a residence in Springfield. On or about May 16, 2018, Masaschi and Norman amended this loan agreement and issued a $765,000 loan to JLL Realty Developers, LLC. This loan was cross-collateralized and cross-defaulted with the earlier loan and was secured by a second mortgage on two residences in East Longmeadow. On or about June 29, 2018, Masaschi and Norman obtained a $875,000 loan for 79 Enfield Realty, LLC, secured by Masaschi’s one hundred percent interest in the company. The purpose of the loan was to pay off an outstanding loan from another financial institution, which was only 45 days from maturing.
To obtain these loans, it is alleged that Masaschi and Norman failed to disclose that the income reportedly produced by commercial properties listed in their loan applications was based on materially false, fictitious and fraudulent rent rolls and lease agreements. Masaschi and Normal also allegedly overstating the amount of income collateral properties were paying by providing fraudulent rent rolls, forged tenant signatures and inflated lease amounts and rental terms.
It is further alleged that Masaschi and Norman ceased payments on the JLL Realty Developers, LLC loans in approximately January 2020. Additionally, apart from six months of interest reserves provided by the commercial lender, it is alleged that Masaschi and Norman never made any payments on the 79 Enfield Realty loan.
The charge of conspiracy to committed wire fraud provides for a sentence of up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. The charges of wire fraud each provide for a sentence of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss. The charge of aggravated identity theft provides for a mandatory sentence of two years in prison to be served consecutively to any other sentence imposed. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based upon the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and statutes which govern the determination of a sentence in a criminal case.
Acting United States Attorney Joshua S. Levy and Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorney Steven H. Breslow of Levy’s Springfield Branch Office is prosecuting the case.
The details contained in the charging documents are allegations. The defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.