Mortgage broker pleads guilty to stealing nearly $5 million in refinancing loans, using money to buy watches and jewelry

A disbarred lawyer-turned mortgage dealer has pleaded responsible to stealing practically $5 million in refinancing loans, utilizing it to purchase dozens of watches and piles of bijou, as a substitute of paying off his purchasers’ unique mortgages. 

Brent Kaufman, 50, of Commack, N.Y., admitted that on quite a few events between 2016 and 2019, he listed his personal checking account quantity on paperwork submitted to new lenders informing them the place to ship the cash.

Sometimes, the cash could be wired to the home-owner’s unique lender to repay their current mortgage. Consequently, Kaufman’s purchasers had been unknowingly left with two mortgages on their properties. In a number of circumstances, the monetary establishments concerned moved to foreclose on the harmless debtors, though nobody finally misplaced their house, an individual conversant in the matter stated.

“This can be a basic case of greed overcoming trustworthy enterprise practices, as Mr. Kaufman took benefit of his entry to purchasers’ funds to complement his personal life-style,” stated Darnell Edwards of the US Postal Inspection Service. “His actions left many in monetary destroy, holding two mortgages and dealing with the specter of foreclosures.”

Prosecutors say Kaufman had been working as a mortgage dealer regardless that he had no license.  Kaufman faces as much as 30 years in jail in addition to $1 million in fines. Prosecutors have additionally moved to have the handfuls of watches and items of bijou seized from Kaufman’s house forfeited to the federal government.

In an e mail, Kaufman’s lawyer stated his shopper “regrets his position within the offense,” and “appears to be like ahead to transferring on to the subsequent chapter in his life.”

In response to civil lawsuits filed by a number of of the lenders who had been defrauded within the case, Kaufman’s purchasers gave the impression to be largely new immigrants with properties in Lengthy Island and Queens. 

In some circumstances, Kaufman would use among the $4.7 million he had pocketed to proceed making mortgage funds on the householders’ unique loans, and even pay them off, to keep away from detection, prosecutors stated. In all, prosecutors say Kaufman saved roughly $2.5 million for himself.

As soon as a lawyer, Kaufman was sentenced to 18 months in jail and disbarred in 2000 for his position in a chapter fraud case, information present. | Mortgage dealer pleads responsible to stealing practically $5 million in refinancing loans, utilizing cash to purchase watches and jewellery


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