New York Woman Convicted by New Jersey Jury in Multi-Million-Dollar Atlantic City Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy
|U.S. Attorney’s Office October 13, 2011|
CAMDEN, NJ—A jury convicted a Bronx, N.Y., woman today for orchestrating a mortgage fraud scheme in Atlantic City, N.J., involving seven properties which were bought and sold 17 times in a little more than six months, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
The jury returned guilty verdicts against Jong Shin, 51, on all four counts charged in the indictment against her, including: conspiracy to commit wire fraud (count one); conspiracy to commit money laundering (count two); and making false statements on loan applications to J.P. Morgan Chase Bank (counts three and four). The jury reached a decision following two hours of deliberation at the conclusion of a two-week trial before U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Shin devised and executed a scheme to defraud mortgage lending institutions by purchasing seven residential properties in Atlantic City and then recruiting “straw purchasers” to buy the properties. Shin prepared fraudulent contracts to sell the properties to the straw purchasers and then included significantly inflated incomes as high as $29,000 per month on the loan applications.
In addition, Shin recruited and made large cash payoffs to real estate appraiser Michael Oxley to falsely inflate the appraisals. Shin also recruited and paid off a local title clerk, Anna Shea of Equity Title Agency, formerly located in Northfield, N.J. Esther Zhu, a mortgage broker at Summit Mortgage Bankers, conspired with Shin to falsify the numbers on the applications and appraisals so that they would be accepted at the lending institutions. After 17 separate real estate transactions, the straw purchasers owned the seven properties—with mortgages they could not pay that were far in excess of the properties’ actual market value. The seven properties all went into foreclosure. Shin reaped $1.2 million in proceeds, which she laundered through several monetary transactions into her bank accounts.
Shin faces a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine on the wire fraud conspiracy charge; 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on the money laundering conspiracy charge; and 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine on each of the two false statements charges.
Six other defendants originally charged in the scheme have also pleaded guilty to related federal charges and await sentencing, including: Anna Shea, 45, of Millville, New N.J., who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering; Michael Oxley, 42, of Somers Point, N.J., who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud; Tula and Sudesh Rampersaud, both 33, of Hollis, N.Y., who each pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud; Steven Boswell, 61, of Flushing, N.Y., who pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud; and Esther Zhu, 43, of Farmingdale, N.Y., who pleaded guilty to two counts of making a false statement to a bank on a loan application.
The investigation was led by the Atlantic City Resident Office of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward, and the Atlantic City Resident Office of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff.
The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Diana Vondra Carrig and R. David Walk Jr. of the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Camden.
Kenneth Rosellini Esq.; Brian Kernan Esq., Tototwa, N.J.