Three lawyers were among 10 people named in an indictment that accuses the defendants of conspiring in a $10 million mortgage fraud, prosecutors in Brooklyn, N.Y., said.
Akin Ayorinde, a Brooklyn lawyer, and nine others were charged in a scheme that ran between January 2005 and May 2007, prosecutors in the office of Brooklyn U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said. Two licensed real estate brokers were also charged, according to the indictment in the U.S. District Court for Eastern District of New York in Brooklyn. The indictment was unsealed Tuesday.
The defendants falsified mortgage loan applications, appraisals, title reports and other documents to make straw buyers whom they recruited to appear more creditworthy on their applications, prosecutors said.
In some instances, the defendants were able to obtain multiple loans for the same property, defrauding banks and other lenders, prosecutors said in court papers.
The allegedly defrauded lenders include: American Home Mortgage Investment Corp. of Melville, N.Y., which filed for bankruptcy in August 2007, and Lehman Brothers' BNC Mortgage LLC, which filed for bankruptcy in January.
Fremont Investment and Loan in Anaheim, Calif., was also defrauded in the scheme, prosecutors said.
The 10 defendants were expected to be arraigned before a federal magistrate in Brooklyn later Tuesday, said Robert Nardoza, a spokesman for Campbell. The defendants face as long as 30 years in prison if convicted of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, prosecutors said. A lawyer for Ayorinde could not be immediately reached for comment.