White-Collar Crime

3 Lawyers Among 10 Charged in Alleged $10M Mortgage Fraud

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Three lawyers are among 10 individuals federally charged with conspiracy, bank fraud and wire fraud in an alleged $10 million New York City mortgage loan scam involving straw buyers and fraudulent documents.

Akin Ayorinde, a Brooklyn lawyer, and attorneys Anthony Onua and Umana Oton are accused of working with real estate agents and, it appears, a title company owner to put together fraudulent loan applications on behalf of straw buyers and persuade mortgage lenders to fund loans on Brooklyn and Queens properties that they otherwise wouldn’t have made, according to Bloomberg, Reuters and the <a/ href=”http://www.nypost.com/p/news/local/lawyers_real_estate_brokers_busted_5XpJ27rHaIrV0iI1GTpyFI” title=”New York Post”>New York Post.

Allegedly working together between 2005 and 2007 to inflate the credentials of their dummy buyers and the value of the properties, co-conspirators reportedly claimed down payments were being made that weren’t, falsified income and employment information for the straw purchasers and altered titles to make it look as though properties hadn’t been bought and resold within a few days, the articles recount.

Meanwhile, leases and property information were also allegedly falsified, with appraisals showing improvements that had never been made. Sometimes, the same property was mortgaged more than once, according to the prosecution in the Eastern District of New York case. When the banks wired money to the lawyers, they then reportedly distributed the funds to their accomplices.

The articles don’t include any comments from the defendants.

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