Former Canton Resident Extradited from Ireland Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud Charges
First Extradition to the United States from Ireland since 2012
BOSTON – A dual U.S.-Irish citizen pleaded guilty yesterday in federal court in Boston to charges arising out of a multi-year mortgage fraud scheme.
Patrick Lee, 45, formerly of Canton and Easton, pleaded guilty to wire fraud and making an unlawful monetary transaction. Chief U.S. District Judge Patti B. Saris scheduled sentencing for Feb. 28, 2019.
Lee was extradited from Ireland to the United States last year to face the charges. It was Ireland’s first extradition to the United States since 2012.
Between July 2005 and May 2007, Lee engaged with others in a mortgage fraud scheme.
Specifically, Lee or a relative bought five multi-family buildings in Dorchester and South Boston, financed those purchases with fraudulently obtained mortgage loans, and quickly converted the buildings to condominiums which facilitated the resale of individual units in the buildings to straw buyers.
The straw buyers were recruited for this purpose and their purchases were financed with fraudulently obtained mortgage loans.
The straw buyers were assured that they would not have to put any money down or pay the mortgages, and that they would get a fee at closing and/or a share of the profits when the properties were sold.
The loans were funded with interstate wire transfers from the mortgage lenders to the closing attorneys’ conveyancing accounts, and the proceeds were then distributed to Lee and/or a family member, the recruiters, and others involved in the scheme. According to the government, mortgage lenders suffered losses of more than $1.5 million.
The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss, whichever is greater.
The charge of unlawful monetary transactions provides for a sentence of no greater than 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine of $250,000 or twice the amount of criminally derived property. Sentences are imposed by a federal district court judge based on the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines and other statutory factors.