U.S. District Judge Alexander Williams Jr. has sentenced Sidney Okosun, age 41, a Nigerian national residing in Washington, D.C., to 18 months in prison followed by five years of supervised release for bank fraud in connection with a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein. Judge Williams also ordered Okosun to pay restitution of $2,165,191. Okosun was formerly licensed as a mortgage originator by the state of Maryland.
According to Okosun’s plea agreement, Okosun, a loan officer employed at a mortgage broker business, conspired with others to purchase properties from a company owned by co-defendant Oladipo Olafunmiloye. Conspirators sought mortgages and refinance loans in order to purchase the properties without having to identify Olafunmiloye’s ownership interest in the properties. To that end, the defendants recruited individuals to act as purchasers of the target properties, when in fact, these “straw buyers” owned these properties in name only and made almost none of the payments related to the purchase of the target properties. Olafunmiloye was responsible for making all payments associated with the purchase of the properties, including the down payments, closing costs and mortgage payments. Once the purchase of the properties had been funded, Olafunmiloye caused the straw buyers to default on their mortgage payments. As a result, the lenders were forced to foreclose on those properties and incur losses.
Okosun acted as a mortgage broker. He coordinated the submission of fraudulent loan applications and other documents to lenders and brokered the resulting fraudulent loans. He received a commission for each fraudulent transaction he brokered, including $33,000 for nine transactions he brokered from November, 2005 to September, 2006. The estimated loss to mortgage lenders that resulted from the nine transactions currently totals $2,165,191.
Oladipo Olafunmiloye, age 40, of Gambrills, Md., pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 46 months in prison for bank fraud and money laundering in connection with the scheme, and was ordered to pay $3 million in restitution. Oyekunle Ikudayisi, age 41, of White Plains, Md., was sentenced to six months in prison and six months home detention with electronic monitoring and ordered to pay restitution of $812,438 for conspiring to make a false statement in connection with the scheme. Kolawole Aminu, age 46, a Nigerian national, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and was sentenced to three years probation and ordered to pay $161,064 in restitution.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the U.S. Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service (IRS)-Criminal Investigation for their investigative work. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorneys Robert K. Hur and James A. Crowell IV, who prosecuted the case.
For more information, visit www.usdoj.gov.