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Family, Ringleader Sentenced Over $16M in Fraud

A West Chester family, a purported conspiracy leader, and several others entered court dockets this week and the last for their alleged roles in reaping a combined $15.8 million in mortgage fraud across the country.


_MReport_ sourced several stories of mortgage fraud for Monday's mortgage fraud blotter from news outlets that include the ""_Dayton Daily News_"":http://www.daytondailynews.com/blogs/content/shared-gen/blogs/dayton/daytoncourts/entries/2011/12/05/dayton_a_dayton_man_3.html, ""Federal Bureau of Investigation"":http://www.loansafe.org/connecticut-man-sentenced-for-role-in-4-million-mortgage-fraud-scheme (FBI), ""_Hartford Courant_"":http://articles.courant.com/2011-11-28/news/hc-mortgage-fraud-sentence-1129-20111128_1_mortgage-fraud-ring-home-buyers-federal-prosecutors, and ""_Middletown Journal_"":http://www.middletownjournal.com/news/middletown-news/family-receive-jail-time-for-mortgage-fraud-1293301.html.

First up, the _Daily News_ reported the case of one William Turner, a 46-year-old man who confessed Monday to bilking mortgage lenders out of $5.6 million between 2007 and 2008.

According to the news outlet, Turner falsified numerous documents ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô including bank statements, deposit and withdrawal slips, and appraisal reports ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô in his role as owner of several title agencies. He closed three bad loans that each neared $200,000 in value.

The Dayton, Ohio native could face up to 20 years in prison and fines in excess of $500,000 or twice the worth of the property, the _Daily News_ reported.

The _Journal_ offered up the next account of a West Chester, Pennsylvania-based family that will find themselves behind bars for nearly three years over their roles in wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering, and three counts of falsely filed income tax returns.

Debbie Sferrazza and Salvatore, her husband, received three years probation, according to the news outlet, along with 10 months of home confinement and a restitution


order in the amount of $71,700. He pled guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud, mail fraud, and money laundering.

The _Journal_ listed other family members that include daughter-in-law Heather Ashurst, daughter Whitney Bonapfel, son James Ashurst, brother Keiron Ashurst, and Tabatha Sturgill, an employee, all of whom received a mixture of one-year prison sentences, multiple years on probation, and restitution orders for their crimes.

Third for _MReport's_ blotter, the leader of a conspiracy responsible for raking in $3.2 million in illicit proceeds from sham sales received a 10-year prison sentence Monday, according to the _Courant_.

The news outlet reported that Syed Babar, of New London, received his sentence for his role in orchestrating bad sales in collaboration with an unlicensed lawyer, an appraiser, and a false construction company.

The _Courant_ said that the ring falsified employment and income information to inflate home prices and come up with approvals for loan applications, and that members paid each other via a legal trust.

According to the news outlet, Babar sought to diminish his actual role in the affair, but federal prosecutors persisted in portraying the ringleader as the one responsible for much of the operation.

""Babar was nothing short of the leader and the mastermind behind the multimillion-dollar fraud scheme,"" _Courant_ quoted federal prosecutors as saying in a memo.

An FBI announcement rounded out the _MReport_ blotter Monday, with one Christian Tudorof, of Stamford, Connecticut, convicted for his participation in a $4-million mortgage fraud plot.

The agency said that he received about a year and six months in prison, along with three years of supervised release, for providing false information and failing to disclose other information related to mortgage applications.

Tudorof secured more than $4 million in mortgages for six properties, all of which went into foreclosure, according to the FBI, when he failed to service the loans for each.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.

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