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Methuen real estate broker pleads guilty to role in mortgage fraud conspiracy

BOSTON — A Methuen real estate broker pleaded guilty Tuesday to participating in a scheme to defraud banks and mortgage companies. Greisy Jimenez, 50, admitted to engaging in “short sales”of residential properties in the Merrimack Valley. Jimenez ...

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Jimenez pleaded guilty to two counts of bank fraud and a single count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.A “short sale” is an alternative to foreclosure, in which the mortgage lender sells a property for less than the mortgage debt and releases the borrower from the unpaid balance

The buyer and seller are supposed to be unrelated – but in many instances, homeowners who engaged in this practice remained in their homes and ended up paying less for their mortgages, according to U.S

Attorney Andrew Lelling.Senior U.S

District Court Judge Mark Wolf scheduled Jimenez’s scheduling for April 24.Last March, co-conspirators Jasmin Polanco, 37, a real estate closing attorney, and Vanessa Ricci, 40, a mortgage loan officer, each pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and are scheduled to be sentenced March 23 and 26, respectively.Also in March, Hyacinth Bellerose, 51, a real estate closing attorney, was sentenced to time served and one year of supervised release to be served in home detention after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud. The charges arose out of a scheme to defraud various banks via bogus short sales of homes in Haverhill, Lawrence and Methuen, in which the purported sellers remained in their homes with their debt substantially reduced.  Lelling said the conspiracy began in August 2007 and continued through June 2010, a period that included the height of the global financial crisis and its aftermath

Home values in Massachusetts and across the nation plummeted and many homeowners found themselves “underwater” with homes worth less than the mortgage debt they owed.As part of the scheme, Jimenez, Polanco, Ricci, Bellerose and others submitted materially false and misleading documents to numerous banks in an effort to induce them to permit the short sales, thereby releasing the purported sellers from their unpaid mortgage debts while simultaneously inducing the purported buyers’ banks to provide financing for the deals.In fact, the purported sellers simply stayed in their homes, with their debt substantially reduced, Lelling said.  AdBridg.cmd.push(function() { AdBridg.display('mobileRectangle_atf'); }); The conspirators falsely led banks to believe that the sales were arm’s-length transactions between unrelated parties

The buyers and sellers, however, were frequently related

The sellers retained control of and frequently continued to live in the properties after the sales.The conspirators also submitted phony earnings and settlement statements to banks in support of loan applications to obtain new financing for the purported sales. The charge of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.  Assistant U.S

Attorney Stephen Frank, chief of the Economic Crimes Unit of the U.S

Attorney’s Office, and Assistant U.S

Attorneys Sara Miron Bloom and Victor Wild, also of that unit, are prosecuting the cases.  #inform-video-player-3 .inform-embed { margin-top: 10px; margin-bottom: 20px; } var _informq = _informq || [];_informq.push(['embed']); Tags var networkConfig = { network: '' }; var convConfig = { siteId: '362320', articleId: 'c6d2641f-7429-56a2-b5c8-ecccc2da1cf9', el: 'livefyre', collectionMeta: 'eyJ0eXAiOiJKV1QiLCJhbGciOiJIUzUxMiJ9.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._ukmqLenyyC3ntw9DkrQyqj3gPzc4BNTW1tszQG06xjNyFRfJZZUiKxvLFDNPRUHG3KduBXOMAPwur3I9k5csw', checksum: '9a5288c871ce9b0c1c0d3b45d8abcae2' }; Livefyre.require([ 'fyre.conv#3', 'auth'], function (Conv, auth) { new Conv(networkConfig, [convConfig], function (commentsWidget) {}()); });

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