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6 accused in Mass. mortgage scheme
Court Watch | 2009/12/24 21:03
Three real estate investors, two mortgage brokers and a disbarred attorney have been indicted for allegedly participating in a complex scheme to defraud homeowners and mortgage lenders in the Boston area, authorities announced Tuesday.

The six defendants are charged with larceny and making false or exaggerated statements.

State Attorney General Martha Coakley, who announced the indictments at a news conference, said the scheme netted more than $2 million in proceeds.

Those charged were: Joshua Brown, 29, of Brockton; Brian Frank, 32, of New Hartford, N.Y.; and John Sweetland, 28, of Yorba Linda, Calif., all identified as real estate investors. Mortgage brokers Linda Defeo, 28, of Springfield, and Brian Arrington, 39, of Boston, were also charged.

Former attorney Bruce Namenson, 47, of Walpole, was also charged. In unrelated cases, Namenson was disbarred in 2008 for converting clients' money for his own use and sentenced to five years in prison after pleading guilty to motor vehicle insurance fraud.

Authorities allege that Brown, Frank and Sweetland, of Boston Equity Investments, used inflated property appraisals and other fraudulent documents to obtain approximately $12.5 million in loans from more than a dozen financial lending institutions to purchase 26 multifamily homes.

They allegedly arranged for the sellers to receive much less money for the sales than the maximum amount of financing that BEI was able to get from the lenders in the homebuyers' names. At closings, BEI would pocket the difference, which was usually between $50,000 and $100,000, and sometimes as much as $150,000, Coakley said.

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