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Justice News

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

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
Thursday, July 20, 2017

Third Defendant, Mortgage Broker, 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 Gregory Gibbons, 51, of Pleasantville, N.Y., pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, before Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1,000,000 fine.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kathleen A. Lynch and Elizabeth Moellering, who are handling the case, stated that between June 2008 and February 2009, the defendant conspired with others, including Alagi Samba, a realtor, and Daniel Badu, to devise a scheme to obtain eight loans for unqualified borrowers for homes in the Bronx, NY.  As part of the scheme, Gibbons acted as the mortgage broker and altered income and asset documents of the borrowers before they were sent to financial institutions.

For instance, Gibbons altered and created documents to make it appear that defendant Badu qualified for a mortgage on a property at 814 Faile Street in the Bronx. The defendant indicated that Badu was a research ophthalmologist and earned a specific income when in fact, Badu was not a research ophthalmologist nor did he receive the income stated on a loan application. Gibbons 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 then 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 his co-conspirators arranged for additional fraudulent loans to be approved, including another loan for Badu, and caused wire communications to be transmitted in interstate commerce for those loans. These fraudulent transactions caused losses of approximately $4,800,007 affecting M&T Bank and other financial institutions including SunTrust Bank, JPMorgan Chase Bank, and Citibank.
 
Defendants Badu and Samba have also been convicted and are awaiting sentencing. Charges are pending against co-defendants Julio Rodriguez, Laurence Savedoff, and Tina Brown. The fact that a defendant has been charged with a crime is merely an accusation and the defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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 for defendant Gibbons is scheduled for October 19, 2017, at 2:00 p.m. before Judge Geraci.

Updated July 21, 2017