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Prison for Broker Who Bribed WaMu Subprime Employee

William Bridge sentenced to 21 months in prison

April 20, 2010

By staff

A California mortgage broker has been sentenced to prison over alleged bribes to a former employee of Washington Mutual's subprime unit. The broker, who was paying to get fraudulent loans through the system, also allegedly hid nearly $4 million in commissions from the Internal Revenue Service.

The case was announced yesterday by the U.S. Department of Justice.

According to the statement, William T. Bridge was handed down a 21-month sentence. In addition, $1 million in restitution was ordered.

He pleaded guilty in June 2008.

The government claims that between 2003 and 2006, Bridge -- who operated as San Francisco-based The Loan Center -- paid around $100,000 in kickbacks to John Ngo -- a loan coordinator at WaMu-subsidiary Long Beach Mortgage -- to process fraudulent mortgages. Ngo worked at the subprime lender from 2001 to 2006.

Ngo pleaded guilty in 2007 to lying to a grand jury about accepting the kickbacks and is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 26.

A former account executive for Long Beach Mortgage, Joel Blanford, is scheduled to go on trial in June.

Bridge, the mortgage broker, also earned $3.8 million in commissions as a licensed mortgage broker that "he willfully failed to report." He only reported YSP earnings because that is all that was reported by Long Beach Mortgage.

His brother, Paul Bridge, worked at The Loan Center and also pleaded guilty in June 2008 to paying kickbacks. He is scheduled for sentencing on Aug. 26.

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