Florida Man Accused of Defrauding Countrywide Out of More Than $640,000
New York State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman has announced the arrest and arraignment of Angelo Rossi on 11 felony charges, stemming from a scheme to defraud Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., as well as two private lenders, of more than $640,000 from November 2006 through 2007. "Angelo Rossi forged documents and scammed businesses and individuals out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He then left them high and dry by taking off to Florida," said AG Schneiderman. "The message of this case is clear ... my office will go after unscrupulous individuals and bring them to justice." Rossi, formerly the chairman and owner of Rossi Construction Inc., resided in a home in the Town of Rotterdam, N.Y. where he also operated his business, and also had an office in Schenectady, N.Y. Rossi bought and sold real estate and built residential houses in the Capital Region of New York State. Rossi is accused of engaging in mortgage fraud in which he stole more than $500,000 from Countrywide by arranging two separate “straw purchases” of two lots in the town of Duanesburg, N.Y. In this “straw purchase” scheme, borrowers appear—on loan documents, deeds and other records—to be purchasing the land and the dwelling, when in fact they are merely obtaining the funding for the builder. Rossi also allegedly forged borrowers’ signatures on six loan draw requests in order for him to obtain loan funds from Countrywide without the borrowers’ knowledge or authorization. Rossi is further accused of stealing over $135,000 from two private lenders. Rossi was extradited from his residence in Port Richey, Fla. to answer the following charges filed by the Attorney General’s Office in the Schenectady City Court: Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, in violation of New York State Penal Law § 155.40(1) (four counts); Forgery in the Second Degree, a class D felony, in violation of New York State Penal Law § 170.10(1) (six counts); and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, in violation of New York State Penal Law § 190.65(1)(a) (one count). “I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman and his office for bringing this case and for all the work they do to aggressively fight mortgage fraud," said Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of the New York Department of Financial Services. "The Department of Financial Services initially referred this case after uncovering evidence that the defendant was engaging in mortgage fraud through such activities as forging documents and drawing down funds from the bank accounts of other people. The Department looks forward to continuing to work with the Attorney General to help New Yorkers who have been victimized by mortgage fraud."