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

Wednesday, June 12, 2013

Pennsylvania Man Charged With Mortgage Fraud

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BOSTON – A Woodlyn, Pa., man was charged today with multiple counts of wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme in which he recruited a straw buyer to purchase three condominiums in Dorchester, Mass., which ultimately went into foreclosure, causing a loss to the lenders of nearly $900,000.

Simon H. Aouad, 34, of Woodlyn, Pa., was indicted with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and four counts of wire fraud.

According to the Indictment, in August 2007, Michael Lee purchased a three-family dwelling at 162 Quincy Street, in Dorchester, for $400,000. He immediately converted the dwelling to three condominiums, which allowed Lee to sell the units individually. At the request of Lee and another individual, Michael Hicks, Aouad recruited a “straw buyer” to purchase all three units for $1.11 million. The straw buyer provided his identifying information to Aouad who forwarded it to Hicks. Hicks used this information, such as his name, address, date of birth and Social Security number, to apply for mortgages for the purchase of the three units at 162 Quincy Street. In the loan applications, Hicks falsely represented the straw buyer’s assets and employment. Aouad also arranged for false income tax returns to be submitted with the fraudulent mortgage applications.

In 2010, Hicks was sentenced to 42 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and restitution after pleading guilty to wire fraud and money laundering. In 2011, Lee was sentenced to one year and one day in prison, followed by three years of supervised release and restitution after pleading guilty to wire fraud.

Aouad faces a statutory maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, to be followed by five years of supervised release and a $1 million fine on each count.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Steven Ricciardi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office, and William Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston, made the announcement today. This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra S. Bower of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.

The details contained in the Indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

Updated December 15, 2014