A Lyndhurst woman was indicted last week for her alleged role in what U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman described as “a long-running, large-scale mortgage fraud scheme.”
Under the indictment handed up May 15 by a federal grand jury sitting in Newark, Klary (a/k/a/ “Patty”) Arcentales, 44, was charged with four counts of bank fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, reportedly resulting in losses of at least $2 million.
From about 2007 until 2012, Arcentales reputedly engaged in the conspiracy through a Woodbridge-based company called Premier Mortgage Services (PMS).
Arcentales, a loan officer at PMS, allegedly provided fraudulent documents to financial institutions in connection with mortgage applications on behalf of “straw buyers,” Fishman’s office said.
As described in the indictment, such buyers were individuals who were recruited by accused co-conspirators and who reportedly were known to have no means of paying the mortgages and no intention of residing at the properties in question.
The conspirators allegedly used false bank statements and other documents “to make it appear as though the straw buyers possessed far more assets, and earned far more income, than they actually did,” the indictment reads. “Relying upon those false documents, financial institutions funded mortgage loans.”
According to the indictment, Arcentales then profited illegally by receiving a commission from PMS for each mortgage loan that she closed and also by diverting portions of the fraudulently obtained mortgage proceeds for herself.
The accused co-conspirators, all previously charged by complaint, include a part-owner of PMS, who allegedly arranged for the creation of fraudulent documents; a paralegal who reportedly served as the settlement agent on mortgage loans brokered by Arcentales; and the owner/manager of a construction company that built properties sold to straw buyers, authorities said.
Each of the five counts against Arcentales is punishable by a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million.
Fishman credited special agents of the FBI and of IRS-Criminal Investigation for the investigation leading to the indictment and also thanked the Social Security Administration-Office of Inspector General for its participation in the probe.
— Karen Zautyk