Buffalo Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud Scheme
BUFFALO, NY—U.S. Attorney William J. Hochul, Jr. announced today that Brian Smith, 42, of Buffalo, NY, pleaded guilty to bank fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge H. Kenneth Schroeder.
Assistant U.S. Attorneys Maura K. O’Donnell and Russell T. Ippolito, who are handling the case, stated that Smith caused fraudulent loan applications and supporting documentation to be submitted to banks, credit unions, peer to peer lenders, and other business entities. The defendant also defrauded individuals out of funds under the guise of investing their money in real estate, when, in fact, he personally spent the money and did not purchase real estate. Smith also used fraudulent applications to open a credit card and to obtain a Land Rover vehicle. The defendant applied for over $1,000,000 in fraudulent loans. Smith also perpetrated a mortgage fraud scheme, using a straw borrower from Buffalo to obtain fraudulent mortgages for properties in the Atlanta, Georgia area.
A co-defendant, Kelly Atkinson, 32, of Wake Forest, North Carolina, also caused fraudulent loan applications and supporting documentation to be submitted to credit unions and other businesses for the purpose of obtaining loans. The fraudulent loans applied for by Atkinson totaled approximately $460,000. He has been convicted and will be sentenced on January 20, 2016 before U.S. District Judge Richard J. Arcara.
Today’s plea is the culmination of an investigation by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
Smith will be sentenced on January 16, 2016, also by Judge Arcara.