Real Estate Fraud Ring Rolled Up

     (CN) – An officer of a Las Vegas-based real estate investment firm faces up to 30 years in federal prison after pleading guilty to a $3.4 million mortgage fraud, prosecutors said.



     Hugo Coutelin, 62, of Santa Fe, N.M., pleaded guilty in Las Vegas to conspiring to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud.
     He will be sentenced on April 18.
     Coutelin, a secretary of CPT Real Estate Investments, was charged in a June 2010 indictment, along with Michael Perry, 59, director of CPT, Jeff Thomas, 32, president of CPT, and Linda Marie Kot, 58, a real estate agent.
     Court documents allege that from April 2006 through November 2006, Coutelin and his co-defendants conspired to recruit straw buyers and bailout buyers, acted as straw buyers themselves and falsified mortgage loan applications with federally insured financial institutions.
     Prosecutors say Coutelin falsified information on straw buyers’ loan applications so the buyers would qualify for loans illicitly.
     According to the indictment, Coutelin caused material misstatements to be made on loan applications for seven properties, leading to the disbursement of $3.4 million in loans.
     Coutelin was arrested on June 17, 2010 in New Mexico and was released pending trial.
     Perry pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud and bank fraud, and will be sentenced on March 28.
     Thomas pleaded guilty to bank fraud in February 2011 and will be sentenced on Feb. 22.
     Kot’s trial is scheduled to begin Feb. 6.

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