WYCKOFF, N.J. -- A former settlement agent from Wyckoff was sentenced Monday to 12 years in federal prison for bank fraud and other crimes involving refinanced properties in Bergen and Morris counties.
Unlike the state of New Jersey, there's no parole in the federal prison system -- meaning that Mark Andreotti, 47, must serve out nearly his entire sentence.
Federal jurors last fall found Andreotti guilty of defrauding banks out of $1.1 million using phony property loan applications while failing to pay more than $450,000 in personal income taxes following a two-week trial.
Prosecutors showed that Andreotti submitted a loan application to a bank requesting $625,000 to refinance the mortgage on his house in Wyckoff in January 2010.
Andreotti, who owned and operated Metropolitan Title and Abstract, used the company as the settlement agent on the transaction.
"After the bank transferred the $625,000 for the refinance to Metropolitan’s escrow account, Andreotti spent the money on personal expenses instead of paying off the first mortgage on the house," , U.S. Attorney Craig Carpenito said.
Six months later, Andreotti and a co-conspirator who worked as a real estate attorney got $480,000 that they claimed would be used to refinance the mortgage on the attorney’s house in Montville, the U.S. attorney said.
Andreotti kept $110,000 for himself and transferred the rest to his accomplice, he said.
In 2010, the IRS initiated collection actions against Andreotti for unpaid personal income taxes.
"Despite numerous liens and levies and having five rental income properties in addition to his primary residence, Andreotti continued to evade his taxes, Carpenito said. "He also failed to file tax returns for the tax years 2010 and 2011."
In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Susan D. Wigenton sentenced Andreotti to five years of supervised release and ordered him to pay more than $2.1 million in restitution.
Carpenito credited special agents of the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General, the FBI, IRS-Criminal Investigation and investigators with his office for the investigation.
Handling the case for the government are Assistant U.S. Attorney Shana Chen of Carpenito's office in Newark and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney Charlie Divine of the Federal Housing and Finance Agency – Office of Inspector General.
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