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Scam artist sentenced

Scam artist sentenced

A scam artists who used a complicated scheme to defraud mortgage lenders out of $50 million is going to prison for just over eleven years.

According to the indictment, obtained by 1200 WOAI, Robert Brooks would buy up old properties, then forge documents and pay people thousands of dollars to be straw buyers at inflated prices.

"I dont know if he intended to cause pain," Federal Judge Fred Biery scolded, " However, I would say this is manipulative, sociopath way of using these people... some friends... does show some of callousness."

A jury also found Brooks guilty of tax evasion.

"It sends a message that people who engage in these mortgage fraud and money laundering schemes will be held accountable," IRS Special Agent Mike LeMoine tells 1200 WOAI news.

To the end, Brooks tried to blame appraisers, accountants, escrow officers and inspectors for the fraud.

"I did not know. I'm not a mortgage broker," he pleaded.  "My job is to buy houses."

LeMoine says, that's not a defense.

"It's always the individual's responsibility.  They have to make sure it passes the smell test."

 

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