Long Island man convicted under $ 9 million mortgage scheme

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A Long Island man was sentenced to a year and one day in federal prison for participating in a $ 9 million mortgage scheme in New Jersey and New York.

Jorge Jotagri, 54, from Freeport, admitted last year that he partnered with Jorge Flores of Oakdale and Jose Piehrahita, also of Freeport, to secure several lines of credit to buy a home for the same property and put money in his pocket before how did the lender banks find out? This was stated by the acting. US Attorney Rachel Honig.

One of these properties was in Jersey City, according to a complaint filed with the US District Court in Newark. It states that Yotagri lived in another house in Freeport.

According to Honig, the termination deed facilitated the transfer of ownership of Freeport’s property to Yotagri and Piedrachita, although Piedrachita did not own it.

The defendants then used the property as collateral for an application for a $ 290,000 line of credit (HELOC), which included Piedrachita’s inflated income and assets, as well as his contact information, he said.

Piedrachita received a loan, which he shared with Yotagri and Flores, the US attorney said. The HELOC funds were never returned, she said.

Flores then applied to another bank for a second $ 250,000 HELOC in Piedrachita’s name – again using Freeport’s property as collateral, the complaint said.

He and Piedrachita provided fake documents – fake payout letters and fake checks from other banks, including – that showed the property was not encumbered with other mortgages, the report said.

Piedrachita then split the received HELOC funds with Yotagri, Honig said. Again, the money was not returned.

Even before they ended, the conspirators applied for HELOCs at 17 different sites in New Jersey and New York, causing the bank to suffer $ 9 million, authorities said.

Yotagri made a deal with the government instead of going to court, pleading guilty in February 2020 to conspiring to commit banking fraud.

In addition to his jail sentence, US District Judge John Michael Vasquez sentenced Yotagri in Newark on Wednesday to three years of forced release and ordered him to pay compensation in the amount of $ 580,048.

The charges against his co-defendants are still pending.

Honig attributed the special agents of the Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Housing Funding Agency and the FBI, both in Newark, to the investigation leading to the indictment, plea and conviction, secured and admitted on Friday by Yotagri. Assistant US Attorney Jason S. Gould of his Criminal Division; and Special Assistant US Attorney Kevin DiGregory of FHFA-OIG.

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