U.S. Attorney Charges 11 for Mortgage Fraud, One for Attempted Murder
By: Tory Barringer
United States Attorney for the District of New Jersey Paul J. Fishman announced Thursday that 11 people are charged for their alleged roles in a mortgage fraud scheme, including one defendant who attempted to murder a witness.
The 11 individuals include seven from New Jersey and others from Pennsylvania, Massachusetts, Georgia, and Alabama. According to a report on NJ.com, the New Jersey defendants include Seth Fuscellaro, a public defender in Lower Township.
The defendants are charged for their roles in a $15 million mortgage fraud scam that used phony documents and straw buyers to make illegal profits on overvalued condos. All defendants are charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud, while five of them are also facing charges of conspiracy to commit money laundering. One defendant, Kinard J. Henson, of Ventress, Alabama, is charged with the attempted murder of a straw buyer who was a witness to the fraud.
“According to the indictment, these defendants created false documents and used straw buyers to convince lenders to give them $15 million for properties that were worth far less,” said Fishman. “Members of the scheme were willing to launder money–and even to kill–in order to get their hands on the profits and cover their tracks. This case illustrates not only the seriousness of mortgage fraud, but also our focus on eliminating the criminal element from our markets to protect the health of our wider economy.”
The defendants arrested in the New Jersey area were scheduled to appear Thursday afternoon before U.S. Magistrate Judge Ann Marie Dinio in Camden federal court. No further news of their court appearance was available as of Friday afternoon.
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