Extradited Romanian Fugitive Arraigned on Mortgage Fraud Charges
|U.S. Attorney’s Office December 21, 2012|
PHOENIX—On December 20, 2012, Daniel Morar, 41, of Suceava, Romania, was arraigned on a superseding indictment charging him with six counts of wire fraud, one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud, nine counts of money laundering, one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering, and seven counts of false loan and credit applications. Federal authorities worked with Romanian law enforcement officials to arrest and extradite Morar to the United States from Romania in November of this year.
“Morar’s arrest and extradition from Romania demonstrates how we view crimes involving mortgage fraud,” said U.S. Attorney John S. Leonardo. “Not only has mortgage fraud destroyed property values, lending institutions, and entire neighborhoods in our communities, but it has also resulted in the loss of tax revenues and jobs. Those who engage in mortgage fraud for personal profit at the expense of the public should expect to be held accountable to the fullest extent of the law.”
The indictment alleges that Morar recruited straw buyers, including one from Romania, who then submitted loan applications to lenders containing false information. The indictment further alleges that Morar, and other conspirators, received cash back at closing while concealing the cash back from lenders. In all, 26 homes went into foreclosure during the scheme, which resulted in at least $6.5 million in losses.
A superseding indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that establishes guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation in this case was conducted by the IRS-Criminal Investigations Division and the FBI. The prosecution is being conducted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Kevin M. Rapp and James R. Knapp, District of Arizona, Phoenix.
CASE NUMBER: CR-08-00612-PHX-NVW
RELEASE NUMBER: 2012-237(Morar)