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Justice News

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

Friday, October 20, 2017

Fourth Defendant Pleads Guilty In Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy

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

BUFFALO, N.Y. - Acting U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced today that Tina Brown, 42, of Bronx, NY, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud affecting a financial institution, before U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The charges carry a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Moellering and Kathleen A. Lynch, who are handling the case, stated that between about June 2008 and February 2009, the defendant conspired with others to devise a scheme to commit mortgage fraud and obtain eight loans for unqualified borrowers for homes in the Bronx.

As part of the scheme, Brown used a relative to purchase a property located at 4087 Edson Avenue in the Bronx. The defendant falsely verified that the purchaser worked for her own company in order to fraudulently inflate the purchaser’s income so that she would qualify for a mortgage for that property. Brown knew that these false loan documents were submitted to The Funding Source, a mortgage bank, in order to secure a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Based on that false application and supporting documentation, the loan was approved. The Funding Source sold the loan on the secondary market to M &T Bank, which wired funds from New York through the State of Ohio to purchase the loan.

The defendant and her co-conspirators arranged for additional fraudulent loans to be approved. These fraudulent transactions caused losses of approximately $1,752,994 affecting M&T Bank and other financial institutions including SunTrust Bank and Citibank.

Co-defendants Gregory Gibbons, a mortgage broker, Alagi Samba, a realtor, and Daniel Badu, have also been convicted on similar charges.
The plea is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Shelly Binkowski, Boston Division, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brad Geary, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Adam S. Cohen.

Sentencing is scheduled for January 16, 2018, at 1:30 p.m. before Judge Frank P. Geraci.

Updated October 20, 2017