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Sunday, October 17, 2010

Former Massachusetts Bank Branch Manager Charged in Mortgage Scam

A former Bank of America branch manager was charged today in federal court with wire fraud and bank fraud for his role in connection with a multi-year, multiproperty mortgage fraud scheme in Dorchester and Roxbury. ARTHUR SAMUELS, 36, of Mattapan, was charged in an Indictment with six counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud. The Indictment alleges that from September 2006 to July 2008, SAMUELS and others committed fraud in connection with the purported sale of condominium units in Dorchester. According to the charges, developer Michael David Scott arranged to purchase multi-family dwellings and then sold individual units in the buildings to straw buyers recruited by Scott, SAMUELS, and others. The straw buyers’ financing for the purchases was obtained by submitting mortgage loan applications that falsely represented key information, such as the buyers’ assets, down payment and intention to reside in the condominiums. SAMUELS also caused false verifications of deposit to be created in support of loan applications submitted to lenders in the names of straw buyers, and acted as a straw buyer himself on three property transactions. In most instances the lenders were led to believe that the straw buyers had made substantial down payments and paid substantial sums at closings.If convicted, SAMUELS faces up to 20 years’ imprisonment to be followed by three years of supervised release and a $250,000 fine for each count of wire fraud, and up to 30 years imprisonment to be followed by five years of supervised release and a fine of $1 million for bank fraud.United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Richard DesLauriers, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, and William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation – Boston Field Division made the announcement today. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild and Ryan M. DiSantis of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.The details contained in the Indictment are allegations. The defendant is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law. Mortgage fraud is a key focus of the Department of Justice. The Department of Justice alongside its federal, state and local partners is committed to investigating and prosecuting significant financial crimes. The Department is committed to combating discrimination and fraud in the lending and financial markets, and recovering proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

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