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Case Number: 1:19-cr-10435-RWZ
Judge: Rya W. Zobel
Court: United States District Court for the District of Massachusetts (Suffolk County)
Description: Boston, MA - The United States of America charged Jaime L. Mulvihill with fraud.
The principal and co-founder of a North Andover mortgage short sale assistance company was sentenced connection with defrauding mortgage lenders and investors out of nearly $500,000 in proceeds from about 90 short sale transactions.
Jaime L. Mulvihill, 40, was sentenced to six months in prison, two years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $478,458 and forfeiture of $239,229. In November 2019, Mulvihill pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Mulvihill and her co-defendant Gabriel T. Tavarez founded and operated Loss Mitigation Services, LLC. The charges arise out of the defendants’ scheme to steal undisclosed and improper fees from mortgage lenders in connection with short sales of homes. A short sale occurs where the mortgage debt on the home is greater than the sale price, and the mortgage lender agrees to take a loss on the transaction.
Loss Mitigation Services, purportedly acting on behalf of underwater homeowners, negotiated with mortgage lenders for approval of short sales in lieu of foreclosure. Mortgage lenders typically forbid short sale negotiators, such as Loss Mitigation Services, from receiving any proceeds of a short sale.
From 2014 to 2017, Mulvihill and, allegedly, Tavarez, directly or through their employees, falsely claimed to homeowners, real estate agents and closing attorneys that mortgage lenders had agreed to pay Loss Mitigation Services fees known as “seller paid closing costs” or “seller concessions” from the proceeds of the short sales. In reality, the mortgage lenders had never approved Loss Mitigation Services to receive those fees. When the short sales closed, at the instruction of Mulvihill, or others working with her and Tavarez, settlement agents paid Loss Mitigation Services the fees, which typically were 3% of the short sale price above and beyond any fees to real estate agents, closing attorneys and others involved in the transaction. To deceive mortgage lenders about the true nature of the fees, Mulvihill or Tavarez filed, or caused others to file, false short sale transaction documents with mortgage lenders, including altered settlement statements and fabricated contracts and mortgage loan preapproval letters. Mulvihill and, allegedly, Tavarez, fabricated the transaction documents, or caused them to be fabricated, in order to justify the additional fees and conceal that they were being paid to Loss Mitigation Services.
The defendants defrauded the Federal National Mortgage Association, the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.
Tavarez has pleaded not guilty and is presumed to be innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.
United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division; Robert Manchak, Special Agent in Charge of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Region; Christina Scaringi, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General, Northeast Regional Office; and Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigation in Boston made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sara Miron Bloom and Brian M. LaMacchia of Lelling’s Office are prosecuting the case.
18:1349 - CONSPIRACY TO COMMIT WIRE FRAUD
Outcome: Mortgage Short Sale Negotiator Sentenced for Defrauding Mortgage Lenders.
The defendant was sentenced to 6 months BOP; 2 years SR; $100 SA; Rest; $478,458.92 joint & severally with Gabriel Tavarez; Standard conditions apply; SC; no mortgage or real estate transactions; no controlled substances other than prescribed medicine; pay the balance of restitution; no new credit charges; access to any financial records; no gambling establishments; no participation in gambling activities; you shall contribute to costs; Report to institution on 4/13/20; REC: to an institute as close to Mass as possible;
02/25/2020 17 Electronic Clerk's Notes for proceedings held before Judge Rya W. Zobel: Sentencing held on 2/25/2020 for Jaime L. Mulvihill (1), Count(s) 1, The defendant was sentenced to 6 months BOP; 2 years SR; $100 SA; Rest; $478,458.92 joint & severally with Gabriel Tavarez; Standard conditions apply; SC; no mortgage or real estate transactions; no controlled substances other than prescribed medicine; pay the balance of restitution; no new credit charges; access to any financial records; no gambling establishments; no participation in gambling activities; you shall contribute to costs; Report to institution on 4/13/20; REC: to an institute as close to Mass as possible;. (Attorneys present: LaMacchia & Summit. )Court Reporter Name and Contact or digital recording information: Linda Walsh at email@example.com. (Urso, Lisa) (Entered: 02/26/2020)
02/25/2020 18 Judge Rya W. Zobel: ORDER entered granting 16 Motion for Forfeiture of Property as to Jaime L. Mulvihill (1) (Urso, Lisa) (Entered: 02/27/2020)