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Miguel LaRosa of Elizabeth, N.J. has admitted to recruiting straw buyers and submitting bogus loan applications as part of large-scale mortgage fraud scheme involving properties in northern New Jersey, United States Attorney Paul J Fishman announced. LaRosa pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton in Newark federal court of an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: LaRosa admitted that, from March 2011 through November 2012, he conspired with others to fraudulently obtain mortgages using falsified loan applications, supporting documents and closing documents. In addition to recruiting straw buyers to purchase properties, LaRosa and others created misleading certifications that bank accounts contained a specific amount of money when they actually contained less, prepared false appraisal reports, back-dated deeds and used unlicensed title agents to close transactions and disburse the mortgage proceeds.
Overall, the conspiracy in which LaRosa was involved resulted in more than $6 million in fraudulent loans and exposed lenders and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to more than $2 million in potential losses. The conspiracy to commit wire fraud charge is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.