Mortgage exec headed to prison – 8 years after pleading guilty

by Ryan Smith29 Jul 2019

A Long Island mortgage executive has been sentenced to three years in prison for bank fraud – eight years after pleading guilty.

Michael Ashley, 53, was sentenced last week over the 2009 collapse of mortgage company Lend America. The implosion of the billion-dollar-a-year lender led to $49 million in losses, according to a report by Newsday. Ashley, the former head of Lend America, must also pay $49 million in restitution and forfeit $800,000.

Ashley pleaded guilty in 2011 to committing bank fraud as head of Lend America. In testimony in March, Ashley said he is now the head of a company called Realty Warehouse, which is located in the same office building that once housed Lend America, Newsday reported.

Federal law allows sentences of up 30 years for bank fraud. However, Judge Joseph Bianco cited Ashley’s cooperation in other prosecutions for the three-year sentence. He also said that Ashley didn’t commit fraud for personal gain, but rather to cope with the losses Lend America was facing, according to Newsday.

Bianco also said he would allow Ashley up to a year before reporting to prison so the former exec can spend time with his mother, who is being treated for cancer, and to arrange for someone to take over his business affairs, Newsday reported.

Three other Lend America executives have pleaded guilty to roles in the fraud, according to Newsday. None have served prison time.