Seven sentenced for mortgage fraud scheme

Four individuals have been sentenced in U.S. District Court for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme involving luxury homes in the Cincinnati area. Seven people altogether have now been sentenced as a result from the investigation.

Eric Duke, 36, was sentenced to 60 months in prison and ordered to pay $2,094,609.50 in restitution and forfeiture in the same amount. Duke pleaded guilty to three counts of conspiracy and four counts of lying to a bank or "Loan Fraud" back in September of 2010.

Duke admitted that he fraudulently obtained more than $6 million in mortgages for four luxury homes by filing fraudulent loan applications in the names of other people. He was a self employed tax preparer and interior designer. Duke also owned a property management company called Riverdale Property Management Group. L.P. in Maineville, OH.

Bernard Kurlemann, 57, was sentenced on Friday to 24 months in prison and has to pay $1,115,409.50 in restitution. With his role in the scheme, he was able to walk away with $3.5 million in mortgage debt and received $500,000 in seller's proceeds. The restitution is based on the amount lenders lost from the fraud.

A jury convicted Kurlemann in November of Last year on one count of conspiracy to commit loan fraud or lying to a bank, and two counts of loan fraud (lying to a bank). He made false statements about purchasing contracts and settlement statements when selling two of his companies' luxury homes to straw buyers. Kurlemann was also convicted of bankruptcy fraud and other crimes connected with lying in his filings in his business' bankruptcy.

Terrance Monahan Jr., 36, was also involved in the loan fraud scheme in order to sell his Maineville house. He was sentenced to 18 months in prison, ordered to pay a fine of $5,000 and $264,000 in restitution. Monahan plead guilty to one count of making false statements on documents he submitted to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD).

Others involved in the scheme include 38-year-old Bryan Sanneman, who pleaded guilty to two counts of conspiracy to commit loan fraud or lying to a bank and loan fraud.

Pam Sanneman, 62, pleaded guilty to one count of misprision of a felony for her knowledge of her son's crime and failure to report it.

Both 37-year-old Christopher Gagnon and 46-year-old Francisca Webster pleaded guilty to loan fraud for their roles as straw buyers in the scheme.

All of the charges were the result of a two-year investigation by the Greater Cincinnati Mortgage Fraud Task Force. The sentences of these individuals were imposed by U.S. District Judge Timothy Black.

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