White-Collar Crime

4 Attorneys and 1 Disbarred Lawyer Among 14 Charged in $58M Alleged Mortgage Fraud

Four real estate attorneys and a disbarred lawyer are among 14 defendants charged yesterday in a federal mortgage fraud indictment in Manhattan.

Attorneys Kevin Hymowitz, 38, Michael Raphan, 63, Neal Sultzer, 61, and Jacquelyn Todaro, 41; as well as disbarred lawyer Michael Schlussel, 50, face charges of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud. Sultzer also is charged with bank fraud, reports the New York Law Journal.

They are accused of helping to arrange $58 million in mortgages on over 100 residential properties involving straw buyers; phony documents making false claims about buyers’ income, net worth and plans to live in the homes; and misrepresentations to lenders about how money paid at closing was distributed. All the defendants are expected to plead not guilty in the Southern District of New York case.

A joint press release from the office of U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara and the Federal Bureau of Investigation provides additional details.

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