A 37-year-old Branford woman has been ordered to serve four and a half years in prison for her role in a southeastern Connecticut mortgage fraud scheme.
David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, announced that Stacey Petro, also known as Stacey Moises, was sentenced today by Senior U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello in Hartford. Petro will also serve two years of supervised release and pay $6,348,403.15 in restitution.
Fein said Petro was part of a scam where several individuals received funding from mortgage companies and originators between 2004 and 2007 by submitting loan applications with false information. The information included fraudulent information on things such as rent history, employment, and the buyer's intention to make the home his or her primary residence. The properties purchased were primarily located in New London County, and the borrowers participating in the scheme were usually low-income residents with good credit ratings who were compensated for their role in the scheme.
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Petro, a licensed mortgage broker, was accused of participation in the scheme by owning and operating First Source Mortgage Solutions, Inc. Fein said Petro worked with several co-defendants to submit false applications to obtain more than 40 mortgages. He said Petro also instructed one co-defendant, Brian Guimond, on how to verify borrowers' information to lenders; Guimond in turn signed employment verification forms falsely reporting that borrowers were employed at his company, The Cutting Edge.
"Petro received thousands in dollars in brokerage fees for each fraudulent mortgage transaction in which she was involved, and she earned a total of approximately $156,000 for participating in the scheme," said Fein. "However, each of the more than 40 properties in which she was involved has been foreclosed on, resulting in more than $7 million in losses to lenders."
Petro pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud on Oct. 18.
Investigators with the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General believe over 200 mortgages were financed through this scheme, with a loss of approximately $9 million to lenders.
Sixteen people have entered guilty pleas in the case, and four await sentencing.