United States v. Scullark

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Based on a real estate financing fraud scheme during the housing bubble, Brunt, Farano, Murphy, and Scullark were charged with mail and wire fraud; Brunt and Scullark with money laundering and Farano with theft of federal government funds, 18 U.S.C. 641, 1341, 1343, 1957(a). The scheme involved buying HUD-owned properties at a discount by using a “front” nonprofit corporation that received kickbacks. The properties were resold, with false promises that the defendants would rehabilitate the properties and find tenants. The defendants obtained the mortgages for buyers by submitting false information regarding the conditions of the properties and buyers’ assets, income, employment, and intentions to occupy the properties. A loan officer and appraisers were bribed. The judge refused to severe the trials. A jury convicted the defendants, and the judge sentenced Brunt to 151 months in prison, Farano to 108, Murphy to 72, and Scullark to 78. He ordered them all to pay restitution. The Seventh Circuit affirmed except regarding an order of restitution to refinancing lenders, which it vacated for consideration of whether the refinancing banks that are seeking restitution had based their refinancing decisions on fraudulent representations by the defendants. The court expressed concern about how long the case has taken. View "United States v. Scullark" on Justia Law