Nine people were indicted in an alleged $92 million mortgage fraud scheme, prosecutors said Thursday.
Thomas Kontogiannis and eight others were charged with conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. Kontogiannis also has been charged with bank fraud, money laundering and money-laundering conspiracy. The defendants face up to 30 years in prison on the conspiracy charge.
A lawyer for Kontogiannis declined to comment Thursday.
Federal prosecutors have alleged that Kontogiannis, 60, bought and subdivided vacant land tracts in the East New York section of Brooklyn and in Queens between 2001 and 2003.
Between March 2003 and September 2007, Kontogiannis and others staged sales on the properties and obtained multiple loans on them by filing false loan documents and using straw buyers, the government said. The loans were financed by companies Kontogiannis controlled and resold in the secondary market, the government said.
The case is being investigated by the U.S. Attorney's office in Brooklyn, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the New York State Superintendent of Banks and the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp.