Queens man to do time for mortgage fraud at Bank of America and other banks

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A Queens, N.Y., man who helped defraud mortgage lending units at Bank of America, Chase Bank and AmTrust is now facing 21 months in prison and three years of supervised release.

The 46-year-old man, James Bayfield, also was ordered by a federal court in Brooklyn to pay $184,651 in forfeiture, according to a press release issued by the U.S. Attorney's office in the Eastern District of New York.

Bayfield was sentenced for conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud in connection with events that occurred between September 2008 and May 2011.

During that time, Bayfield and his co-conspirators submitted applications for loans that had "fraudulently inflated purchase prices and false information about the assets and income of the purported purchases, many of whom were paid to act as straw purchasers," according to the release.

Bayfield and his co-conspirators also engaged in a scheme where they "flipped" the houses involved by simultaneously selling and buying them at inflated prices. Millions of dollars in mortgages were involved in the scheme, and many of these loans on properties in Queens and Brooklyn have defaulted.

"This office will continue working with our law enforcement partners to vigorously prosecute those who commit mortgage fraud and enrich themselves at the expense of lenders left holding the loans," said Richard Douglas, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, in the release.

Agencies that helped uncover and prosecute the fraud include the Department of Housing and Urban Development Office of Inspector General and the Federal Housing Finance Agency's Office of Inspector General. The Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. and the New York Department of Financial Services also participated in the investigation.

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Mortgage fraud Enforcement Purchase Distressed Bank of America JPMorgan Chase AmTrust FHFA HUD New York