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 myCentralJersey.com:
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.