A former New Jersey mortgage broker has been sentenced to five years in prison and ordered to make nearly $200,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to stealing home buyers’ mortgage money, the Attorney General’s office said Monday.

Jason Goddard, 32, of Summit, N.J., was sentenced by state Superior Court Judge Edward M. Coleman and ordered to repay $194,796 to four banks, mortgage institutions and a related business, Attorney General Peter C. Harvey said.

A state grand jury indictment from Jan. 21, 2004, charged Goddard and Isaac Briggs, 32, of Orange, with conspiracy, theft by deception and money laundering, the official said. Briggs pleaded guilty in June to money laundering and will be sentenced Oct. 20, officials said.

The state indictment said that from June 1, 2002, to Feb. 28, 2003, Goddard, a former Somerset County, N.J.-based mortgage broker, and Briggs, who once worked for PrimCorp Financial, acted as the brokers for the sale of two Essex County, N.J., residential properties.

One of the properties was located at 25 Linden St. in East Orange, the other at 280-84 Orange Ave. in Irvington, the indictment said. On June 25, 2002, the East Orange property was sold, and Goddard and Briggs arranged for a $153,000 mortgage, according to the court documents.

The men then cashed and kept a $100,000 trust account check written by an attorney to the bank holding the seller’s mortgage, instead of using the money to pay off the existing mortgage, according to the state attorney general’s office.

A second theft count in the indictment charged that on Dec. 20, 2002, the men committed a similar fraud for the Irvington property, officials said.

Although a contract to buy the property never materialized, Goddard and Briggs are accused of fraudulently securing a mortgage for the property in the name of the potential buyer, and kept $154,405 in proceeds, the state attorney general’s office said in a news release issued Monday.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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