Short-Sale Banker|Sentenced to 2½ Years

     LOS ANGELES – A former Bank of America worker on Monday was sentenced to 2½ years and federal prison and ordered to forfeit his house for taking $1.2 million in bribes to approve cheap short sales on properties on which the bank held mortgages.
     Kevin Lauricella, 29, of Thousand Oaks, also was ordered to pay $5.7 in restitution to Bank of America, and to forfeit his home, which he bought with some of the bribe money, the U.S. Attorney’s Office said in a statement.
     Lauricella pleaded guilty in January to two felonies: taking bribes and making false entries in the bank’s books and records.
     Lauricella worked in BofA’s Short Sales Department in Simi Valley in 2010 and 2011. He was responsible for negotiating short sales. His “fraudulent short sales also clouded the title on the properties, which in turn resulted in expensive litigation for innocent parties, including individuals who purchased the homes later,” according to the U.S. attorney.
     In return for the bribes, which he took from people who wanted to flip the homes, “Lauricella used his position to ‘approve’ short sales that he was not authorized to approve and that were for sales prices far below the fair market value of the subject properties,” prosecutors said in the statement. “Lauricella then made false entries in Bank of America’s computer system to make it appear that Bank of America had approved the short sales for the below-market prices. When he pleaded guilty, Lauricella admitted approving fraudulent short sales for at least nine properties.”

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