New Jersey Man Pleads Guilty in Extensive Mortgage Fraud Scheme in Rhode Island
PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A New Jersey man previously convicted in federal court in Massachusetts and incarcerated for masterminding a real estate fraud scheme, pleaded guilty in federal court in Providence on Friday to charges that he again conspired to defraud financially distressed homeowners, investors, and financial institutions of fees, rental income, mortgage payment funds, property ownership and/or proceeds from the sale of their properties.
Hasan Hussain, 57, of Princeton, N.J. also pled guilty to aggravated identity theft in connection with the scheme.
Hussain’s guilty plea before U.S. District Court Judge John J. McConnell, Jr., is announced by United States Attorney Stephen G. Dambruch; Christina D. Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the Northeast Region of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General; Brian Deck, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service; Harold H. Shaw, Special Agent in Charge of the Boston Division of the FBI; and Colonel Ann C. Assumpico, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.
At the time of his guilty plea to the most recent federal indictment, Hussain admitted to using various business entities to trick distressed property owners, who were seeking loan modifications, into paying him fees, moving out of their homes, and selling their homes in short sale transactions. As part of the plea, Hussain further admitted that he convinced lenders to agree to artificially low sale prices for the distressed property owners’ homes by directing other individuals to damage the properties prior to the short sales. Thereby, Hussain, or individuals or businesses associated with him, acquired the properties at reduced prices, and then flipped them to investors at much higher prices. During his change of plea, Hussain admitted that these investors were defrauded of their funds, or good credit, or both when they agreed to purchase properties from Hussain.
Hussain further admitted that he assisted investors to acquire federally backed mortgages through fraudulent applications, ultimately resulting in losses to the lenders or the Federal Housing Administration. Some of the tactics employed by Hussain as part of the scheme included misuse of identities and cutting and pasting signatures on property deeds and financial documents.
As part of his plea agreement, Hussain admitted that his scheme resulted in losses between $550,000 and $1.5 million dollars; that ten or more victims were harmed; and that at least some of his victims were particularly vulnerable, as a result of their personal situation. The plea agreement also provided that the government would seek a leadership enhancement for Hussain given the extensive nature of the scheme and his role in it.
At sentencing on January 8, 2018, Hussain faces up to 32 years in federal prison, 5 years of supervised release, and a fine of $1,250,000.
A co-defendant in this matter, Ricardo Abreu, who pled guilty earlier this year is scheduled to be sentenced on October 30, 2018.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra R. Hebert, Richard B. Myrus, and William J. Ferland.