The United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut has announced that a federal grand jury sitting in Bridgeport, Conn. has returned a nine-count indictment charging William A. Trudeau Jr. of Westport, Conn. with bank fraud, wire fraud, and mail fraud offenses stemming from his alleged participation in a Fairfield County mortgage fraud scheme. The indictment alleges that Trudeau, a property developer, was an unnamed principal in both Aspetuck Building & Development and Huntington South Associates LLC, the latter of which was a shell company that Trudeau used to pay for personal expenses and to secure loans fraudulently.
From approximately February 2004-April 2010, it is alleged that Trudeau conspired with Joseph Kriz, Heather Bliss, Fred Stevens, Thomas Preston, and others to defraud federally insured financial institutions and mortgage lenders. Through this scheme, it is alleged that Trudeau and his co-conspirators submitted false mortgage loan applications to financial institutions to obtain mortgages on various properties in Fairfield County in order to develop and sell the properties for profit, and to pay off debts owed to “hard money” lenders from whom they had previously obtained high interest loans. The mortgage applications, which included false income information and omitted the mortgage applicants’ true indebtedness, caused the financial institutions to issue mortgage loans on properties that Trudeau and his co-conspirators would not have otherwise been qualified to purchase, allowing the applicants to qualify for mortgages that far exceeded their ability to repay the loans.
The indictment further alleges that Trudeau’s name did not appear on any documentation related to the loans or the properties for which the loans were obtained, and that money was hidden in bank accounts that were not in Trudeau’s name, in part to prevent the collection of more than $450,000 in restitution that a court ordered Trudeau to pay in July 2003.
Through this scheme, it is alleged that Trudeau and his co-conspirators fraudulently obtained more than $3.5 million in mortgage loans.
The indictment charges Trudeau with one count of conspiracy commit bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud; two counts of bank fraud; three counts of mail fraud; and three counts of wire fraud. If convicted, Trudeau faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 240 years.
An indictment is not evidence of guilt. Charges are only allegations, and each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt. Kriz, Bliss, Stevens and Preston have pled guilty to charges related to their involvement in this scheme. Each awaits sentencing.
For more information, visit http://newhaven.fbi.gov.