The Strong Defense
The Strong Defense
Dunedin Mortgage Broker Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud
Bruno Skoczynski, a 36-year-old mortgage broker from Dunedin, was sentenced this month by a Tampa federal court to two years in prison. Skoczynski owned E-Value Mortgage Services and E-Value Title Services. He pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud conspiracy charges in June 2012.
According to court documents, Skoczynski was a licensed mortgage broker in the Tampa Bay area. His wife was a licensed realtor. From May 2007 through July 2008,, Skoczynski acted as mortgage broker and title company for the sale of some of Richard Cartagena’s and Neil Ferrigno’s properties, including some of the La Encantada Villas townhouses. He received commissions in connection the sales.
As part of his plea, Skoczynski admitted that he prepared and completed sales, loans and closing documents that contained false statements and misrepresentations for properties owned and sold by Cartagena. Some of the fraudulent mortgage practices that Skoczynski participated in involved payments from the developers to the buyers to use for down payments, which were later returned. These material misrepresentations allowed these purchasers and the developers, as sellers, to borrow money to close loans for properties that they could not otherwise afford, and induced lenders to disburse funds for the loans based on misrepresentations as to the equity in these properties.
Cartagena and Ferrigno were previously sentenced in the same federal court for conspiring to commit mortgage fraud. Cartagena was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison and Ferrigno was sentenced to eight months in federal prison. Two other purchasers of townhomes at the La Encantada development have also been sentenced as part of the conspiracy.
The court ordered each individual in this case to make restitution payments to victim lenders in an amount totaling more than $2 million. The court also forfeited all traceable monetary proceeds received by each individual.