Another Day, Another Real Estate Scammer Busted: $20M Scam Shut Down!


It seems that you don’t have to look too far to find someone trying to scam the innocent these days. From Madoff on down, it feels like there is a white collar crook around every corner. The good news is that many of these people are getting busted . . . unfortunately, by the time they’re caught, people are losing some or even all of their savings.

Today, a New Jersey man, Anthony Natale, “plead guilty to participating in a conspiracy which defrauded hundreds of investors and mortgage lenders of more than $20 million” according to

Natale, whose law office was in Cranford, was retained by Wayne Puff, president and founder of N.J. Affordable Homes Corp., a purported real estate investment company, to conduct real estate closings for properties bought by the company as part of an investment program referred to as “Our Money, Your Credit,” where the company promised to purchase and renovate properties to be resold at substantial, guaranteed profits, authorities said.

Natale admitted in a hearing yesterday before Linares that he directed his paralegal, Sydney Raposo, 41, of Rahway to prepare false and fraudulent HUD-1 Universal Settlement Statements that falsely showed that Natale’s clients, who were “nominee buyers,” or buyers who were “in name only,” had paid money to purchase the properties, when Natale knew they had not. Natale also acknowledged that these false statements were often submitted to lenders for mortgage loans, and then to the Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) and the Federal Housing Administration (FHA), which, in turn, federally insured the loans.

So far, 10 people have pleaded guilty to being involved with the scam.

About Author

Joshua Dorkin

Joshua Dorkin (@jrdorkin, Google+) founded when he saw a need for free, trustworthy information about real estate investing online. Over the past 12 years, Josh has grown the site from self-funded hobby to full-time job and passion. Today, BiggerPockets brings together over 600,000 members, housing the world’s largest library of real estate content, iTunes’ #1 real estate podcast, and an array of analysis tools, all geared toward helping users succeed.


  1. There will be more and more of these schemes exposed as the economy crumbles. A Long Island NY based firm, Agape World, is accused of running a $370 million ponzi scam. This firm took money from investors to make real estate bridge loans, or so people thought. This story would have been huge if it wasn’t for the Madoff scam. This scam was just revealed in the past few weeks.

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