Two former owners of a Brooklyn, N.Y.-based mortgage company face conspiracy, wire fraud and bank fraud charges stemming from Olympia Mortgage Corp.’s dealings with Fannie Mae and Credit Suisse First Boston.
Leib Pinter, 64, is accused of fraud in connection with the alleged theft of $44 million in proceeds from refinance loans funded by Fannie Mae.
Barry Goldstein, 59, allegedly sold nonperforming loans to Credit Suisse First Boston using falsified loan histories, prosecutors said.
According to an indictment filed by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Olympia originated and serviced mortgage loans owned by Fannie Mae. Some of those loans were refinanced through Olympia, with Fannie Mae wiring money to an Olympia account.
Instead of paying off the underlying mortgage loan by remitting the outstanding balance to Fannie Mae, Pinter is accused of pocketing the proceeds. By the time the scheme was discovered, Fannie Mae held nearly $44 million in unpaid, but refinanced, mortgage loans from Olympia, prosecutors said.
Olympia also sold loans to investors including Credit Suisse, which required Olympia to provide loan histories detailing whether homeowners had made payments on time. Goldstein allegedly instructed Olympia employees to alter delinquent loan histories to make it appear that payments were made in a timely manner, prosecutors said, with Credit Suisse purchasing 12 loans with falsified histories.
Deliberate misrepresentations by unscrupulous mortgage brokers, lenders or appraisers "can trump even determined due diligence," said Mark J. Mershon, assistant director-in-charge of the FBI’s New York Field Division, in a statement. Mershon said the FBI and U.S. Attorney are committing "more resources than ever" to police mortgage lenders.
The case is being prosecuted by assistant United States attorneys Jonathan E. Green and Daniel A. Spector. If convicted of either of the conspiracy to commit wire fraud or wire fraud counts, Pinter faces a prison sentence of up to 30 years, as does Goldstein if convicted of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and bank fraud counts.
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