White Collar Crime

NJ lawyer admits involvement in $30 million mortgage scam

A New Jersey lawyer faces up to 30 years in prison for his admitted role in an elaborate $30 million mortgage fraud.

Toms River attorney Michael Rumore, 55, pleaded guilty Monday in federal court to one count of conspiring to commit bank fraud, the Newark Star-Ledger reports.

Rumore and another man have admitted being part of an elaborate fraud that cheated mortgage companies out of $30 million by submitting falsified documents to get money for fictitious home buyers, U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman says.

Instead of going to deserving homeowners, the money was divided between Rumore; Elizabeth, N.J., tax preparer Kenneth Jones; and several other participants, Fishman says.

The two men were accused of participating in two related schemes over a four-year period through a mortgage brokerage firm based in Woodbridge, according to court documents. While loan officers from the company brokered the deals, Rumore closed them and Jones provided the false documents used to convince lenders to issue the mortgages.

The “purchasers” were actually straw buyers who only lent their names to the applications in return for a share of the proceeds, prosecutors say. Many of the properties, based in low-income areas of the state, ended up in foreclosure.

Rumore, who could get up to 30 years in prison, will be sentenced March 31. Jones, who also pleaded guilty to aiding and abetting the filing of false and fraudulent tax returns, is facing up to 33 years in prison.

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