A federal grand jury this week indicted three people in a $3.5-million mortgage-fraud scheme involving 13 properties in communities throughout the state, U.S. Attorney Peter F. Neronha announced Wednesday.
The Providence Journal reports the allegations center on a loan officer, a loan processor, a lawyer disbarred for misusing clients’ money a decade ago and properties in Cranston, Central Falls, Coventry, Pawtucket and Providence.
One of the men indicted, James D. Levitt, is also charged in a separate eight-count indictment of bank fraud, wire fraud and tax fraud in connection with mortgage transactions. He is accused in a second indictment of scheming to commit mail and wire fraud by obtaining mortgages on three properties he expected to control.
The indictment accuses two of the others, Juan Carlos Hernandez and Miguel Valerio, of conspiring to recruit and pay so-called “straw purchasers” to purchase properties that Hernandez and Valerio weren’t qualified to buy, with the intention of later taking control of the properties, renting them and selling them, Neronha said. In addition, the indictment alleges all three men conspired to get straw buyers to apply for mortgages on four properties in which the men had financial interest.
Lenahan was convicted in 1999 of trying to push his wife off a 100-foot ledge at Diamond Hill State Park in Cumberland while their children played.
As he awaited trial in Rhode Island, Lenahan was convicted in Attleboro District Court of soliciting an undercover police officer to kill his wife and the 17-year-old he believed was her lover. The day after he was arraigned on the Rhode Island charge, he traveled to Attleboro to hire a hit man. Lenahan was not charged in the mortgage-fraud case.
Assistant U.S. Attorney Luis M. Matos is prosecuting the cases, which were investigated by the FBI, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and the IRS.