A Sussex County woman was convicted on fraud and money laundering charges for her role in a mortgage scheme based in Mahwah and other towns in Bergen County, New Jersey US Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced in a release.
Crystal Paling, 52, of Hamburg, was found guilty in a federal court in Trenton of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and conspiracy to commit money laundering, Fishman said. One of her accomplices, Daniel Verdia, 54, of Mahwah, has pleaded guilty to one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud and money laundering, and is awaiting sentencing.
According to Fishman’s release, Verdia and other “co-conspirators” throughout the area filed false and fraudulent loan applications in real estate transactions. The applications listed the borrowers incomes at inflated rates. After they were approved, the schemers then prepared false statements saying the borrowers had made down payments or paid cash to close the loans.
Verdia and Jaye Miller, 62, of Pocono Lake, Pa., another accomplice who has since pleaded guilty to the same charges, owned a shell company, Capital Investment Strategies, the release said. Paling wired the loan proceeds to a Capital Investment Strategies bank account.
According to Fishman, Paling “concealed illicit payments to Capital Investment Strategies by failing to disclose them on the settlement statements. She collected a portion of the disclosed closing fees that appeared on the settlement statements. She also received undisclosed kickbacks paid from Capital Investment Strategies to her own shell company, XL Partnership.”
Paling is currently awaiting sentencing, which is scheduled for July 2. Each of the two counts she was convicted of carry a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison. She could also face up to $750,000 in fines.
According to a NorthJersey.com report from 2009, the scheme, which six people ran during the mid-2000’s, cost victims $1M. The report said the shell company was based, for some time, in Mahwah.