Mortgage company president accused of scamming Ginnie Mae for $3 million

by Ryan Smith19 Aug 2016
The president of a Massachusetts mortgage company has been accused of defrauding Ginnie Mae out of nearly $3 million.

Robert Pena, the founder and president of the now-defunct Mortgage Security, Inc., has been indicted on conspiracy and wire fraud charges, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, the charges stem from Pena’s alleged plot to scam Ginnie Mae, a government-run corporation that promotes affordable housing be injecting capital into the market.

Prosecutors say MSI was contracted with Ginnie Mae to pool eligible mortgages and sell Ginnie Mae-backed mortgage bonds to investors. MSI was also responsible for servicing the loans in the pools it created and placing the funds it collected into accounts held in trust by Ginnie Mae.

But prosecutors say that in 2011, Pena began diverting money that should have gone into the Ginnie Mae accounts. He allegedly deposited “large-dollar, loan-payoff checks” into secret accounts, then used that cash for his own ends, according to the U.S. Attorney’s Office. Pena also allegedly siphoned off borrowers’ escrow funds and mortgage insurance premiums for his own use.

Pena allegedly stole nearly $3 million, which Ginnie Mae then had to pay to its investors, whose investments it had guaranteed. Pena is also alleged to have attempted to cover his tracks by providing Ginnie Mae with false reports on the loans MSI was servicing.

If convicted, Pena could face up to 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000 for each count.