East Hampton Woman Admits Role in Real Estate Appraisal Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office March 19, 2014|
Deirdre M. Daly, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Brandy Gomez, 35, of East Hampton, pleaded guilty today before U.S. District Judge Alvin W. Thompson in Hartford to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and bank fraud related to a real estate appraisal scheme.
According to court documents and statements made in court, Gomez was a provisional licensed appraiser in Connecticut. Under Connecticut’s real estate appraisal regulations, Gomez was required to be supervised by a certified appraiser. Between 2006 and 2008, Gomez conspired with another individual to obtain real estate appraisal fees to which they were not entitled. As part of the scheme, Gomez’s co-conspirator obtained the names, certified appraiser numbers, appraiser certificates, business names and addresses, and electronic signatures of certified appraisers and, without the certified appraisers’ knowledge, used this information when submitting real estate appraisals that Gomez had purportedly completed to mortgage brokers and lenders. Gomez deposited fraudulently obtained appraisal fees into her personal bank account and shared them with her co-conspirator.
Gomez and her co-conspirator also submitted falsified work logs to the Connecticut Department of Consumer Protection purporting to show that Gomez completed dozens of real estate appraisals under the supervision of a certified appraiser when, in fact, she had not performed such work and was not entitled to the appraisal fees.
Gomez and her co-conspirator received approximately $47,908 as a result of submitting the unauthorized and fraudulent appraisals.
Judge Thompson scheduled sentencing for June 20, 2014, at which time Gomez faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years.
This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation Division and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys David T. Huang and Paul H. McConnell.