Newington Man Admits Operating Extensive Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that FILIPPOS MILIOS, also known as Filip Milios, 55, of Newington, pleaded guilty today before U.S. Magistrate Judge Donna F. Martinez in Hartford to conspiracy and money laundering offenses stemming from his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that involved dozens of Connecticut properties.
According to court documents and statements made in court, from approximately June 2005 to July 2010, MILIOS and others conspired to defraud banks and mortgage lenders in obtaining dozens of mortgages for the sale of properties owned by MILIOS and others. The conspiracy involved the use of straw borrowers, false mortgage applications, false HUD-1 forms and fraudulent down payments in connection with the purchase of nearly 50 houses primarily located in Hartford, New Haven and Middlesex counties.
As part of the scheme, MILIOS purchased properties, either in his own name, in a limited liability corporation in which he had an interest, or in the name of a co-conspirator. MILIOS and others then recruited borrowers to purchase these properties. Unbeknownst to the lenders who extended mortgages to the borrowers, MILIOS and his co-conspirators submitted fraudulent documents in connection with the loan applications, including false HUD-1 forms, employment verification letters and rental verification letters.
MILIOS also made the down payments on behalf of the borrowers who were recruited to purchase the properties. Attorney Gabriel Serrano, who served as a closing attorney for most of the fraudulent transactions, often released the seller’s proceeds checks from closing to MILIOS before receiving the down payment, and MILIOS used the seller’s proceeds checks to purchase the down payment check for the same transaction. MILIOS also failed to disclose to mortgage lenders that he paid money to borrowers, mortgage brokers, and recruiters.
In pleading guilty, MILIOS also admitted that he engaged in a money laundering conspiracy with Serrano. The conspiracy involved Serrano’s disbursing the fraudulently-obtained loan proceeds to the private lenders who had loaned MILIOS money when he originally purchased the properties.
Lenders lost a total of approximately $5.6 million as a result of this scheme.
MILIOS pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and bank fraud, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, which carries a maximum term of imprisonment of 10 years. He is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson on December 8, 2014.
MILIOS was originally charged by criminal complaint in January 2013. He has been detained since March 20, 2014, when his bond was revoked. On August 6, 2013, Serrano also pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and bank fraud, and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering. He awaits sentencing.
This case is being investigated by the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation Division, the United States Postal Inspection Service and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David T. Huang and William J. Nardini.