Federal prosecutors have charged a Greenwich, Conn., real estate developer with bank fraud, saying he hid old mortgages to get new loans from banks, the New York Journal News reported.

The total amount of Andrew M. Kissel’s fraud could easily eclipse $20 million, federal prosecutors said in court papers filed in Rutland, Vt., at the time of Kissel’s arrest there Tuesday, media reports said.

U.S. Magistrate Judge George Yanthis released Kissel, 45, on $1 million bond yesterday after an appearance in U.S. District Court in White Plains, N.Y., according to reports. Yanthis also confined Kissel to his Connecticut home and ordered that he wear an electronic monitoring device, reports said.

Kissel is accused of filing false mortgage releases with the Greenwich town clerk, according to reports. These releases allegedly indicated he had paid off mortgages taken out on a home he is building in Greenwich, according to the complaint filed by the FBI, reports said.

The FBI complaint alleged that Kissel took out a mortgage of more than $1.6 million in July 2004 to buy the property, reports said.

On Feb. 2 of this year, Kissel allegedly filed a phony release with the town clerk, according to reports. The papers, purportedly from Washington Mutual Bank in Washington Depot, Conn., indicated he had paid off the mortgage when, in fact, he had not, according to the complaint.

On March 22, Kissel finalized a $4.5 million line of credit from Hudson Valley Bank in Yonkers, reports said. Because of the false filing, that bank was led to believe the property was unencumbered, according to the complaint. As of early this month, he had drawn nearly $1.6 million on the credit line, reports said.

Less than three weeks after taking out the line of credit, the complaint alleged, Kissel filed another false mortgage release, this time from HVB, with the town clerk, according to reports.

He repeated the scheme with two more banks, one on Staten Island and one in Ridgefield, Conn., as victims, according to the complaint, media reports said.

Kissel’s lawyer, Philip D. Russell, told the Journal News Kissel was “cooperating with the authorities.”


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