Shades of Stonewood – another scam artist goes down.

Sounds a lot like Stonewood. A member brought this to our attention a couple years back. The wheels of justice grind slowly but sometimes exceedingly fine. Thanks to Chris Plante for this update.

Irvine attorney indicted in mortgage fraud scheme

An Irvine attorney has been accused of profiting from a mortgage fraud scheme in which 15 mostly foreclosed homes in Orange County were purchased at inflated prices.

Gerald L. Wolfe, 41, a lawyer who was formerly a registered real estate broker, was indicted by a federal grand jury Wednesday on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Wolfe, who lives in Corona del Mar, and other unidentified co-conspirators fraudulently purchased 30 residential properties in Orange and Riverside counties between the summer of 2005 and January 2006, the indictment says.

The alleged conspirators would recruit “straw buyers” and use their names and credit profiles to purchase the properties, according to the indictment.

The loan applications for the properties’ mortgages were a sham because they contained fake personal information about straw buyers, misled lenders into believing that Wolfe or straw buyers would reside in those properties, and sought mortgages for inflated sale prices with agreements that sellers would return the inflated portion of the sale price to the conspirators, said U.S. Attorney’s Office spokesman Thom Mrozek said.

Most of the 30 homes involved in the scheme went into foreclosure, Assistant U.S. Attorney Shashi Kewalramani said. The scheme resulted in more than a $2 million loss to the banks, he added.

Wolfe has agreed to surrender to authorities and will appear in federal court on Tuesday. His lawyer, Thomas Bienert Jr., could not be reached for comment Thursday.

Two co-conspirators, Andrew and William Bohuslavizki, also have pleaded guilty conspiracy to commit wire fraud and will be sentenced in January, Kewalramani said.

The statutory maximum penalty for a conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge is 20 years in prison.

Read the full article in The Orange County Register

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