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CONTACT: Barbara Burns
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BUFFALO, N.Y. – U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. announced today that Tina Brown, 45, of Bronx, NY, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire and mail fraud affecting a financial institution, was sentenced to six months home detention by Chief U.S. District Judge Frank P. Geraci, Jr. The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $220,042.17 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Citibank.

Assistant U.S. Attorneys Elizabeth Moellering and Kathleen A. Lynch, who handled the case, stated that between about June 2008 and February 2009, the defendant conspired with others to devise a scheme to commit mortgage fraud and obtain eight loans for unqualified borrowers for homes in the Bronx. As part of the scheme, Brown used a relative to purchase a property located at 4087 Edson Avenue in the Bronx. The defendant falsely verified that the purchaser worked for her own company in order fraudulently to inflate the purchaser’s income so that she would qualify for a mortgage for that property. Brown knew that these false loan documents were submitted to The Funding Source, a mortgage bank, in order to secure a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Based on that false application and supporting documentation, the loan was approved. The Funding Source sold the loan on the secondary market to M &T Bank, which wired funds from New York through the State of Ohio to purchase the loan.

The defendant and her co-conspirators arranged for additional fraudulent loans to be approved. These fraudulent transactions caused losses of approximately $244,000 to M&T Bank, Citibank, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Four co-defendants were previously convicted and sentenced: Gregory Gibbons, a mortgage broker, was sentenced to time served; Laurence Savedoff, an attorney, was sentenced to serve four months in prison; Julio Rodriguez, an appraiser, was sentenced to serve six months in prison; and Daniel Badu, a borrower, was sentenced to time served. Defendant Alagi Samba has been convicted and is awaiting sentencing.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin, Boston Division, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brad Geary, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.

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