Irish-American extraditee admits to role in $1.5m mortgage fraud scheme

by Francis Monfort15 Nov 2018

A dual U.S.-Irish citizen has pleaded guilty to charges arising out of a multi-year mortgage fraud scheme that caused $1.5 million in losses to mortgage lenders.

Patrick Lee, formerly of Canton and Easton, Mass., pleaded guilty to wire fraud and making an unlawful monetary transaction. He was extradited from Ireland in 2017 to face the charges.

In the scheme, which ran between July 2005 and May 2007, Lee and others fraudulently obtained mortgage loans to buy five multifamily buildings in Dorchester and South Boston. The participants converted the buildings to condominiums and facilitated the resale of individual units to straw buyers they recruited.

The purchases by the straw buyers were also financed with fraudulently obtained mortgage loans. The loans were funded with interstate wire transfers from the mortgage lenders to the closing attorneys’ conveyancing accounts. The proceeds were then distributed to Lee or others involved in the scheme.

Chief US District Judge Patti Saris scheduled sentencing for Feb. 28.

The wire fraud charge carries a maximum penalty of up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater. The unlawful monetary transactions charge carries a sentence of up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of criminally derived property.