Industry News

Property flipper convicted

Virginia man faces up to 15 years in prison

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A Potomac Falls, Va., man has been convicted in federal court in a mortgage fraud scheme involving residential property in Westfield, Mass., according to a U.S. Attorney statement. A jury late last week convicted Angel Serrano Jr., age 42, of conspiracy, wire fraud and making false statements in connection with a property-flipping scheme. Serrano faces up to five years in prison, three years of supervised release and a $25,000 fine, on each of the three counts of the indictment. Evidence presented during the seven-day trial proved that between 1996 and 1997, Serrano engaged in a conspiracy to defraud commercial lending institutions by purchasing properties and selling them the same day at inflated prices to unsophisticated low-income buyers. It is alleged that Serrano hid the land-flips from the original sellers and the lending institutions and caused the low-income buyers to submit fraudulent loan applications to the lender. The indictment charges that Serrano persuaded owners of...