A New Jersey mortgage company loan officer who’d been an international fugitive for several years admitted his role in a long-running, large-scale scam that cost lenders more than $30 million, authorities said.
Isaac DePaula, 41, and a group of conspirators pulled off the scheme through a company called Premier Mortgage Services (PMS), according to a complaint on file in U.S. District Court in Newark.
The thieves targeted low-income areas, recruiting straw buyers to seek mortgages for properties they really couldn’t afford, federal authorities charged.
The conspirators secured the loans by submitting bogus documents as part of mortgage loan applications, making it appear the buyers had far more assets and earned way more income than they actually did, according to the complaint.
DePaula and his fellow loan officers at PMS “profited illegally by receiving a commission for each mortgage loan that they closed,” the complaint says. They also diverted some of the ill-gotten proceeds to themselves via shell corporations or bogus bank accounts, it says.
The properties, meanwhile, went into foreclosure, federal authorities said.
DePaula, a Brazilian native, fled the U.S. after federal authorities began investigating him and others. The government filed its first criminal complaint in 2012. A federal grand jury indicted him four years later.
DePaula returned to face the charges in March 2020.
Last month, he pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit…