Final Defendant in Lansing Mortgage Fraud Indictment Pleads Guilty
|U.S. Attorney’s Office November 26, 2012|
GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Mario Giannandrea, 43, pled guilty today to misprision of a felony before U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker. Giannandrea admitted that he participated in a fraudulent scheme to obtain a mortgage for $1,500,000, tried to conceal the scheme from being discovered, and did not bring it to the attention of law enforcement. Judge Jonker accepted the plea and found Giannandrea guilty. A sentencing hearing for the offense is scheduled for March 27, 2013.
On July 26, 2012 Giannandrea was indicted with six other defendants for engaging in a scheme to commit mortgage fraud in violation of federal law. The scheme, operating under the name of a Lansing, Michigan business known as CDC Investments, involved inflating the value of a piece of real estate and then staging the sale of that property so that an unsuspecting bank would supply mortgage funds to members of the scheme. After obtaining the money, the members of the scheme would split the money among themselves. The mortgage would not be paid, leaving the bank with property not worth enough to make the bank whole. The scheme resulted in approximately 35 mortgage loans and resulted in losses of approximately 2.5 million dollars.
U.S. Attorney Patrick Miles acknowledged the efforts of the Western District of Michigan Mortgage Fraud Task Force, composed of agents from the Federal Bureau of Investigation, United States Secret Service, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, HUD Office of Inspector General, and others. “Rooting out mortgage fraud is a top priority for law enforcement in this district, because it does so much damage to property values and our financial system. This task force has a lot of work to do, and I am proud to say that these investigators are up to the task,” said U.S. Attorney Miles.
The six others named in the indictment have entered guilty pleas to federal charges of conspiring to commit bank fraud or bank fraud. These are Aaron Teachout, Isaac Modert, Eric Williams, Dennis Sare, Rick Artibee, and Nichole Buda. All have agreed to cooperate with the investigators in locating others engaged in mortgage fraud. All of the defendants face sentencing hearings before Judge Jonker in March 2013.