Mastermind of Multi-Million-Dollar Atlantic City Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy Sentenced to More Than 15 Years in Prison
|U.S. Attorney’s Office September 05, 2012|
CAMDEN, NJ—A Bronx, New York woman was sentenced today to 186 months for orchestrating a mortgage fraud scheme in Atlantic City, New Jersey, involving seven properties that were bought and sold 17 times in a little more than six months, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.
Jong Shin, 52, was convicted following a two-week trial in October 2011 of all four counts charged in the indictment: conspiracy to commit wire fraud; conspiracy to commit money laundering; and two counts of making a false statement to a bank on a loan application. U.S. District Judge Renée Marie Bumb presided over the trial and imposed the sentence today in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and the evidence at trial:
Shin defrauded 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.
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, New Jersey. 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.
In addition to the prison term, Judge Bumb sentenced Shin to five years of supervised release and ordered her to pay $4.6 million in restitution.
U.S. Attorney Fishman credited the Atlantic City Resident Agency of the FBI, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward; and special agents of IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Victor W. Lessoff, for the investigation leading to today’s sentence.
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.