A florida loan officer was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for participating in a nationwide $2.5 million reverse mortgage fraud scheme.
Louis Gendason, of Delray Beach, Fla., was sentenced to 70 months in prison, five years of supervised release and ordered to pay over $2 million in restitution said the Department of Justice.
Along with two other people, Gendason solicited individuals to refinance into reverse mortgages and created fraudulent appraisals to steal false equity from the seniors and their lenders.
“The stiff sentence the court imposed on the leader of this reverse mortgage fraud scheme sounds a cautionary note to those who prey upon elderly, distressed homeowners,” said Tony West, Assistant Attorney General for the Civil Division of the Department of Justice. “We will not waver in our commitment to investigate, prosecute, and hold accountable those who try to victimize our nation’s most vulnerable consumers.”
According to the DOJ, none of the borrowers involved in the scheme had sufficient equity in their properties to qualify for a reverse mortgage.
“This reverse mortgage loan modification scheme robbed elderly homeowners of more than just their homes,” said Wifredo A. Ferrer, U.S. Attorney for the Southern District of Florida. “It also robbed them of the American dream of home ownership, their peace of mind, and in some cases, their life’s savings. Through these prosecutions, these fraudsters have been brought to justice.”
The other co-conspirators were recently sentenced for their roles in the mortgage fraud scheme. Kimberly Mackey, 47, of Pittsburgh, and Marcos Echevarria, 29, of Palm Beach, Fla., received prison sentences of 60 and 24 months, respectively, on Nov. 3, 2011. A third co-defendant, John Incandela, 25, of Palm Beach, was sentenced to 41 months in prison on Dec. 16, 2011