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Justice News

Department of Justice
U.S. Attorney’s Office
Western District of New York

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

Buffalo Man Sentenced In Fraud Scheme

CONTACT:      Barbara Burns
PHONE:         (716) 843-5817
FAX:            (716) 551-3051

BUFFALO, N.Y.--U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Brian Avery Smith, 43, of Buffalo, NY, who was convicted of bank fraud, was sentenced to 63 months in prison by U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maura K. O'Donnell and Russell T. Ippolito, who handled the case, stated that Smith caused fraudulent loan applications and supporting documentation to be submitted to banks, credit unions, peer to peer lenders, and other business entities. The defendant also defrauded individuals out of funds under the guise of investing their money in real estate, when, in fact, he personally spent the money and did not purchase real estate.  Smith also used fraudulent applications to open a credit card and to obtain a Land Rover vehicle. The defendant applied for over $1,000,000 in fraudulent loans. Smith also perpetrated a mortgage fraud scheme, using a straw borrower from Buffalo to obtain fraudulent mortgages for properties in the Atlanta, Georgia area.

A co-defendant, Kelly Atkinson, 32, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, also caused fraudulent loan applications and supporting documentation to be submitted to credit unions and other businesses for the purpose of obtaining loans. The fraudulent loans applied for by Atkinson totaled approximately $460,000. He was convicted and sentenced to 12 months in prison.

Today’s sentencing is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Adam S. Cohen.

Updated June 29, 2016