Morristown Attorney Martin D. Eagan has admitted participating in a reverse mortgage program that defrauded several elderly homeowners, the US attorney said Philipp Sellinger.
Eagan, 50, pleaded guilty to a U.S. district judge on Friday Anne Thompson to information he is charged with a bank fraud conspiracy, a charge that carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a fine of US $ 1 million.
If the Montville resident is convicted in April 2022, the U.S. attorney will demand the confiscation of all real estate or personal property illegally obtained from the system.
From 2007 to 2010, Eagan and his conspirators in Essex County and elsewhere produced fraudulent documents to convince lenders to approve and fund reverse mortgages and existing mortgage refinancing, “Sellinger’s office said at a Explanation, and in the information submitted to the court.
Fraudulent records that hid from lenders the fact that loan proceeds were collected from the schemers or from companies that owned or controlled them. Incorrect estimates have overestimated the value of homes in order to qualify for larger loans.
Eagan, his conspirators, and others controlled these loan applications from start to finish, the US attorney said.
According to Sellinger, co-conspirators of the reverse mortgage system included:
- Resident of Saddle Brook Philip Puccio Jr., Loan officer at two mortgage brokerage firms and principal at several home repair and remodeling agencies.
- Rafael Peralta, from Clifton and Garfield, affiliated with several home repair and remodeling companies.
- Joseph Sopran, an unlicensed real estate appraiser based out of New Jersey
This is how the conspiracy worked, the US prosecutor said:
Peralta, Puccio, and others asked homeowners for home repairs and home remodeling work, as well as mortgage refinancing and government programs to fund the work.
Inflated ratings have been submitted for Home Equity Conversion Mortgages, a Federal Housing Administration reverse mortgage program that allows homeowners to withdraw some of their home equity.
As the final attorney, Eagan diverted mortgage funds from lenders to Puccio and Peralta and companies they control, rather than directing the funds to homeowner borrowers.
Sellinger wrote FBI special agents under the responsible Special Agent George M. Crouch Jr. in Newark and Special Agents of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Robert Manchak, for the investigation leading to the Friday carried out confession.
United States Special Attorneys Kevin Di Gregory and Charlie L. Divine, Office of the Inspector General of the Federal Housing Finance Agency, represent the government.
A graduate of Delbarton School, College of the Holy Cross, and Rutgers Law School, Eagan opened his Martin D. Eagan Law Firm as a solo practice in 2002 and expanded it to include three attorneys and seven paralegals, according to his LinkedIn page.
The site says that it has “only closed residential property transactions” for the past eight years.
Lending, reverse mortgages and home refinancing are specialties of Eagan’s firm, the US attorney said.
As a volunteer on the Morris County’s St. Patrick’s Parade Committee, Eagan has hosted Parade Day parties that drew many people into the parking lot of his office. The mayors of Morristown, Jersey City, Belmar and Lake Como attended the Bash 2015, with live music, pork roasted on a spit and a pork cake delivered by TV stations Cake boss, Kumpel Velastro.
Last month, Eagan became Director of Sales and Business Development for Cove Services, a business concierge network with offices in Ireland and the United States that helps international companies enter American markets, according to his LinkedIn page.