MANHATTAN (CN) - A group of a dozen attorneys, mortgage brokers, loan officers and straw buyers were indicted on charges of defrauding lenders out of more than $9 million in residential mortgages, prosecutors said.
The defendants allegedly bought dozens of residential properties in New York City and Long Island with fraudulent mortgages obtained using fake names and fake buyers, the U.S. Attorney's office said in a statement.
They used fraudulent driver's licenses and Social Security cards, and gave false employment, income and rental information and bank statements to get the loans, the statement said.
Most of the loans are now in default.
All of the accused were arrested Wednesday morning.
"This is exactly the type of criminal activity that was caused by - and contributed to - the terrible mortgage crisis facing our nation," New York Attorney Gen. Andrew Cuomo said in a statement.
The 12 defendants are Jeffrey Larochelle, 29, a mortgage broker in Bay Shore, N.Y.; Eric Finger, 44, an attorney in Mineola, N.Y.; Denise Parks, 43, a loan processor in Olive Branch, Miss.; Foriduzzaman Sarder, 40, of Jackson Heights, N.Y.; Sakat Hossain, 43, of Jackson Heights, N.Y.; Mikael Huq, 34, of Astoria, N.Y.; Reginald Johnson, 36, of St. Albans, N.Y.; Frederick Warren, 35, a loan processor in Miller Place, N.Y.; Dorian Brown, a loan officer in Mount Sinai, N.Y.; Fritz Bonaventure, 28, of Lithonia, Ga.; Joell Barnett, 36, an attorney in Brooklyn, N.Y.; and Brandon Lisi, 36, an attorney in Glen Cove, N.Y.
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