New York Man Sentenced in Million-Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme
BOSTON—A Skaneateles, N.Y. man was sentenced today in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme which resulted in losses of more than $1 million to lenders.
Michael St. Claire, 36, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge William G. Young to six months in prison, an additional four months of home confinement, and ordered to pay $1,257,945 in restitution. St. Claire previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
In early to mid-2007, St. Claire and co-defendant Monique Boucher recruited so-called investors to purchase 12 condominium units in a South Boston building that St. Claire had purchased. The recruits were told they would not have to bring any money to the table, even though the HUD-1 Settlement Statements falsely stated that each of them paid substantial down payments. Instead, those down payments came from funds supposedly due to St. Claire’s real estate company for liens that in fact, did not exist. Each recruit also was promised, and received, a significant payment after closing—in the tens of thousands of dollars—that they could use however they saw fit. These fees were paid to the buyers by both St. Claire and Boucher. Together, St. Claire and Boucher pocketed about $975,000 in profits from the loan proceeds. Eleven of the 12 properties went into foreclosure and sold at significant loss to the lenders.
Boucher, 51, of Florida, also pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. In November 2014, she was sentenced to 10 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution.
United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz; William P. Offord, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston; and Vincent B. Lisi, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement today. The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Sandra S. Bower of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit.