US Attorney – Mortgage Broker Sentenced in Manhattn Federal Court to Seven Years’ Jail For $6 Million Theft

LawFuel.com- US Legal Newswire –
PREET BHARARA, the United States Attorney for the
Southern District of New York, announced today that IRSHAD
RAMZAN, a/k/a “Tony,” a former mortgage broker who supervised the
operations of Queens-based Platinum Funding, was sentenced to
seven years in prison for his roles in a scheme to steal over $6
million in the proceeds of home mortgage loans issued by various
banks for the purchase of residential properties, which funds
were supposed to be used to pay off existing mortgages on the
properties, and in another scheme to obtain home mortgage loans
from banks under false pretenses by arranging straw purchases of
those homes, thereby generating tens of thousands of dollars in
unwarranted fees for RAMZAN and Platinum Funding. The sentence
was imposed today by United States District Judge NAOMI REICE
BUCHWALD in Manhattan Federal Court.

According to the Indictment and Superseding Information
to which RAMZAN pleaded guilty, statements made in court, and
other documents filed in this case:
RAMZAN controlled a business called 44th Street Home
Funding, Inc., which operated under the trade name “Platinum
Funding.” Platinum Funding was located in South Ozone Park, New
York, and engaged in the business of, among other things,
brokering retail real estate and mortgage transactions by
arranging for the sales of homes and for home mortgage loans and
refinancings.

From 2004 through October 2005, RAMZAN and a coconspirator,
ERIC KOPPELMAN, who has been separately charged,
engaged in a scheme to steal the proceeds of home mortgage loans
from banks that were supposed to have been used to pay off the
existing mortgages on the properties. To further their scheme,
RAMZAN and KOPPELMAN issued, and cause to be issued, checks to
one or more companies controlled by RAMZAN or KOPPELMAN, which
funds represented all or part of the loan proceeds that were to
be used to satisfy mortgages. To hide their fraud, RAMZAN and

KOPPELMAN lied to financial institutions providing the home
mortgage loans and falsely stated that some of the proceeds of
the mortgage loans were being used to satisfy the seller’s
mortgage loan. Instead, these funds were being used by RAMZAN or
Koppelman for their own purposes.
In a separate scheme that RAMZAN supervised, RAMZAN
tricked homeowners who were having problems making payments on
existing home loans, often to the point of facing foreclosure, to
sell their houses to so-called “straw purchasers.” In doing so,
RAMZAN misrepresented the nature of these “bailout” transactions
to the lenders that financed these transactions and, thereby,
defrauded these lenders. In return, RAMZAN obtained substantial
fees from the transactions.

In addition to the prison term, RAMZAN, 36, of Baldwin,
New York, was sentenced to four years of supervised release and
was ordered to pay over $6 million in restitution and to forfeit
several properties.

Previously, on February 25, 2010, KOPPELMAN pleaded
guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud based on his role in
the scheme to steal mortgage payoff money. KOPPELMAN, 49, of
Hauppage, New York, is scheduled to be sentenced by United States
District Judge PAUL G. GARDEPHE on July 7, 2010, at 11 a.m.
Mr. BHARARA praised the investigative work of the
United States Postal Inspection Service and thanked them for
their work in this case. He also thanked TICOR Title Insurance
Company of Florida for its assistance in the investigation.
These cases are being prosecuted by the Office’s
Complex Frauds Unit. Assistant United States Attorney DANIEL W.
LEVY is in charge of the prosecutions.
10-174 ###

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