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Connecticut Man Admits Role in Real Estate Scam

JAN 10, 2014 3:01pm ET
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A Connecticut resident waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court for committing multiple conspiracy offenses stemming from his involvement in a series of fraudulent real estate transactions.

Despite not having the income and savings to pay off the mortgage, court documents showed that Thomas Provenzano obtained a $923,200 loan in November 2005 to purchase a lakefront home in Morris, Conn., for more than $1.1 million.

The property was owned by an entity controlled by a co-conspirator on the mortgage loan application. On this application, Provenzano falsely listed being an employee for his co-conspiratorís company, but in reality, he never worked for this business.

Additionally, the application inaccurately listed the defendantís income as $20,000 per month. However, Provenzano made less than $50,000 annually. The company provided verification for the false information on the loan application, the Department of Justice noted.

Provenzano refinanced the loan a year later obtaining a $936,000 mortgage from a federally insured bank. Like the prior application, the new paperwork incorrectly listed Provenzano as employed by the same company in the original loan application and falsely listed his monthly income as $28,000, which is equal to $336,000 annually.

The company again provided verification for the false information on the loan application. Meanwhile, the loan defaulted and the Palmer Road property is now in foreclosure.

The Federal Bureau Investigation and Internal Revenue Service began investigating the real estate and mortgage transactions involving the Palmer Road property in May 2010. Federal agents specifically were examining a discrepancy in the closing documents, which showed that the defendant had been obligated to make a downpayment of approximately $249,000 but had never paid for it.

When they discovered this, Provenzano and his co-conspirator created a false promissory note for $249,000 and backdated the note to November 2005 to serve as a reason why the downpayment was not paid for at the closing.

Provenzano pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, one count of conspiracy to obstruct justice, and one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud. He is facing a maximum term of imprisonment of 55 years when he is sentenced in April.

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