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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
District of Rhode Island

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Friday, December 11, 2015

Six Indicted in Alleged Mortgage Fraud, Bank Fraud, Identity Theft Scheme

R.I. attorney, real estate agent, mortgage originator and loan officer latest to be charged in wide-ranging investigations into mortgage fraud in Rhode Island

PROVIDENCE, R.I. – A 22-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Providence on Thursday charges six individuals, including a Rhode Island real estate attorney, a real estate agent, a licensed loan originator, a former loan officer, a loan processor and a real estate investor, with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to obtain money they were not entitled to from financial institutions and individuals through mortgage loans, residential property sales and fees.

The indictment represents the latest federal charges to be filed in a wide-ranging series of ongoing investigations by the United States Attorney’s Office, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General, the U.S. Secret Service and the Rhode Island State Police Financial Crimes Unit into alleged mortgage fraud in Rhode Island.

According to the indictment returned on Wednesday, it is alleged that between 2007 and 2014, the defendants conspired to execute a scheme which caused prospective homebuyers to obtain mortgages from financial institutions based upon materially false loan applications and fraudulent supporting documentation. It is also alleged that as part of the conspiracy, false representations were made in order to obtain fees to which the defendants were not entitled or to make a profit selling property in which they had an ownership interest. It is further alleged that in some instances, thousands of dollars were fraudulently obtained by misrepresenting on a Housing and Urban Development form the amount of funds due or to be paid to one of the parties involved in a transaction.

It is alleged that in numerous instances, the defendants concealed their involvement in the scheme by conducting business under the names of several different entities and individuals.  It is alleged that at times, the defendants used stolen identities to further the fraud and to conceal their connection to the real estate transactions.

The indictment is announced by United States Attorney Peter F. Neronha; 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; Ted A. Arruda, Resident Agent in Charge of the Providence Office of the U.S. Secret Service; and Colonel Steven G. O’Donnell, Superintendent of the Rhode Island State Police.

The indictment charges:

  • Attorney Louis Marandola, 41, of Providence, R.I., with one count of conspiracy, five counts of bank fraud, three counts of wire fraud and six counts of aggravated identity theft.

  • Brian R. McCaffrey, 38, of East Greenwich, R.I., a licensed loan originator, with one count of conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

  • Raffaele M. Marziale, 41, of Bristol, R.I., a former loan officer, with one count of conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft.

  • Lauren Sienko, 33, of Rehoboth, Mass., a loan processor, with one count of conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.

  • Gina M. Ronci Mohamed, 45, of Lincoln, R.I., a licensed real estate agent, with one count of conspiracy, two counts of bank fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft, and one count of false statement.

  • Edwin Rodriguez, 35, of Pawtucket, R.I., a real estate investor, with one count of conspiracy, once count of bank fraud, two counts of aggravated identity theft and two counts of witness tampering.

Attorney Louis Marandola, Edwin Rodriquez and Lauren Sienko were released on unsecured bond following their arraignment on Thursday before U.S. District Court Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan. Brian McCaffrey, Raffaele Marziale and Gina Ronci Mohamed were released on unsecured bond following their arraignment today before Magistrate Judge Patricia A. Sullivan. Not guilty pleas were entered on behalf of all of the defendants.

An indictment is merely an allegation and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt. This indictment reflects the most recent charges filed by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in a wide-ranging series of ongoing investigations into alleged mortgage fraud in Rhode Island.

In September, Franchesco Franco, 34, of Providence, a former mortgage loan originator, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Franco admitted to participating in a scheme to defraud Flagstar Bank, by filing a fraudulent mortgage loan application and supporting documentation in the name of a person known to him who is deceased.

In a separate matter, it is alleged that Dylan T. Kelly, 40, of Providence, whose real estate appraiser’s license expired in September 2008, continued to conduct and issue real estate appraisals using the identity, license and insurance certificate of a licensed appraiser without his permission or knowledge. Kelley is charged by way of an information with false statements on a loan application.

The cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra R. Hebert and William J. Ferland.

Contact:

Jim Martin (401) 709-5357

email: USARI.Media@usdoj.gov

on Twitter @USAO_RI

15-112
Topic: 
Financial Fraud
Updated December 11, 2015