We talk about a lot of “constants” here on Flipping Frenzy (e.g., constant threads in real estate and mortgage fraud; the constant barrage of seemingly never-ending real estate and mortgage fraud cases; the constant denial by many in the real estate industry and elsewhere that real estate and mortgage fraud is that big of a problem; etc.). So today we’re joyous over the news out of Brooklyn, New York, of another “constant” development… namely, that one Emmanuel Constant–a Haitian national who, despite being convicted for crimes against humanity, has been living freely in New York since the mid-1990s–has been found guilty of six felony counts against him related to a mortgage fraud scheme.
(photo (c) 2007 Jesse Ward)
A Kings County, NY, Supreme Court jury found Emmanuel Constant guilty last Friday of fraudulently arranging millions of dollars in home loans for three Brooklyn properties. Constant, who has been convicted in Haiti, in absentia, for crimes against humanity, will remain in police custody. Sentencing will occur on September 10, 2008.
In an elaborate mortgage fraud scheme, Emmanuel Constant and other co-conspirators fraudulently arranged bank financing for the purchase or refinancing of three Brooklyn properties. After locating a property for sale and generating an artificially high appraisal value for the property, they would pay a straw buyer to get loans from mortgage banks to purchase the house at the inflated value. Constant and the co-conspirators would then divert the proceeds of the fraudulently obtained home loans to themselves. Many of Constant’s co-conspirators have been arrested, and some contributed to the testimony against him.
For part of the period of the mortgage fraud scheme, Emmanuel Constant, 51, served as the Suffolk County branch manager for D & M Financial, Inc., a New Jersey-based mortgage bank. In a separate conviction also prosecuted by the New York AG’s office, Constant served two years in prison for his involvement in the theft of over $1 million in mortgage funds from the fraudulent sale of a Suffolk County home. Constant completed serving this jail time on July 1, 2008.
Before being arrested for mortgage fraud, Constant, a native of Haiti, had been living freely in New York despite a 1995 federal immigration warrant and a 1995 federal deportation order. He was convicted in Haiti, in absentia, for crimes against humanity. He was the founder and commander of the Front Revolutionnaire Pour L’Advancement et le Progres d’Haiti, or “FRAPH,” which was dedicated to terrorizing and torturing political opponents of Haiti’s military regime.
The Kings County Supreme Court jury found Emmanuel Constant guilty of two class C felonies, two class D felonies, and two class E felonies. Sentencing will occur on September 10, 2008. Emmanuel Constant faces a maximum of 15-45 years in prison.