According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Raffi Oghlian conspired to defraud financial institutions of nearly $2 million through a mortgage fraud scam that used phony documents and straw buyers to make illegal profits from the sale of overpriced townhomes and other real estate assets in Newark, N.J., Atlanta and Naples, Fla. that were owned by developers seeking to sell off inventory.
In 2008, Oghlian worked as a loan officer at Hasbrouck Heights, N.J.-based MJS Lending Inc. As part of the scam, Oghlian and his conspirators obtained mortgage loans for unqualified borrowers using fraudulent loan applications and other documents.
Oghlian’s conspirators recruited straw buyers to purchase the properties at the inflated rates. These buyers had good credit scores but lacked the financial capability to qualify for mortgage loans. Therefore, the defendant created false loan applications that had inaccurate data concerning the straw buyers’ income, assets, employment and intended use of the properties.
Once the loans were approved and the mortgage lenders sent the loan proceeds in connection with the real estate closings, Oghlian’s co-conspirators took a portion of this money in which the funds were deposited into various bank accounts they controlled.
During this scheme, Oghlian earned fees as the loan officer of the seven transactions in which he participated.
The wire fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.