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Ridgefield Park Man Gets 15 Months In Fed Pen For Major Mortgage Fraud

Honig credited special agents of the FBI and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General with the investigation leading to the guilty plea and sentence.
Honig credited special agents of the FBI and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General with the investigation leading to the guilty plea and sentence. Photo Credit: COURTESY: Federal Housing Finance Agency

A Ridgefield Park man was sentenced Friday to 15 months in federal prison for his role in a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders out of hundreds of thousands of dollars.

Dennys A. Tapia, 55, took a deal from the government rather than go to trial, pleading guilty to a single count of conspiring to commit bank fraud last December. He'll have to serve out the entire sentence because there's no parole in the federal prison system.

Tapia and a number of unnamed co-conspirators produced bogus documents to a loan officer for potential borrowers, including fraudulent lease agreements, bank statements, and a gift check and gift letter, Acting U.S. Attorney Rachael A. Honig said.

As a result, she said, the lender “issued mortgage loans to unqualified buyers, which caused (it) hundreds of thousands of dollars in losses.

“Some of the loans (the lender) issued to unqualified borrowers were sold to the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation ‘Freddie Mac,’ which was aimed at “providing liquidity, stability, and affordability in the United States housing market, Honig said.

Tapia also recruited a “straw” borrower who applied for a cash-out refinance mortgage loan that contained “multiple misrepresentations of material facts and fraudulent documents, including pay stubs and a verification of employment,” the U.S. attorney said.

The “false and fraudulent cash-out” loan produced tens of thousands of dollars in profits for Tapia, she said.

In addition to prison time, U.S. District Judge Stanley R. Chesler sentenced Tapia to two years of supervised release and ordered restitution of $182,508 and forfeiture of $176,532.

Honig credited special agents of the FBI and the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General with the investigation leading to the guilty plea and sentence, secured by Assistant U.S. Attorney Jonathan Fayer of her Economic Crimes Unit and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlie Divine of the FHFA’s OIG.

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