Edward G. McCusker, thought to be the ringleader of a mortgage fraud conspiracy that included his wife and two bankruptcy attorneys, was convicted on 15 counts of wire fraud and mail fraud, according to a Philly.com report.
Prosecutors say the scammers targeted people who had substantial equity in their homes but were having financial difficulty. The bankruptcy attorneys would steer victims to a mortgage firm run by McCusker, who would co-sign with the victims for new mortgages.
The scammers would then prepare fraudulent paperwork and enter into a lase-buyback agreement with the homeowners, who would pay rent believing that the money would go toward paying off the new mortgage. McCusker and the other scammers, however, pocketed the money for their own use, Philly.com reported.
McCusker, who has previous convictions for identity theft and fraud, will also have to complete three years of court supervision after his release, according to Philly.com. His 60-month prison sentence, however, is well below the federal guidelines, which call for a sentence of 78-97 months.
A Pennsylvania man has been sentenced to five years in federal prison for orchestrating a $14 million mortgage scam.