VA Man Is Sentenced For Land Flip Fraud

A Virginia man was sentenced recently in Federal Court here in connection with a land-flip scheme he operated in Westfield, Mass., in 1996 and 1997, according to the U.S. attorney's office for the District of Massachusetts.

Angel Serrano Jr., formerly of Westfield, Mass., was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael Ponsor to two years and three months imprisonment, to be followed by four years of supervised release.

Judge Ponsor also ordered Serrano to pay $344,000 in restitution to the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Veterans Affairs, which insured the mortgages involved in the scheme.

Serrano was convicted of conspiracy and wire fraud on March 3, following a seven-day trial. Evidence presented during the trial proved that he bought properties and sold them the same day to low-income, unsophisticated purchasers, the U.S. attorney's office said. Serrano defrauded the mortgage lenders by making false representations concerning downpayments and income and submitting fraudulent documentation of gifts and credit references.

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