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June 15, 2012

Former WAMU Loan Officer Sentenced To 15 Months In Federal Prison For Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Tampa, Florida United States District Judge Virginia Hernandez Covington yesterday sentenced Edward M. Bangasser (66, Boca Raton) to 15 months in federal prison for conspiring to commit wire fraud and for making false statements to federally insured banks for the purpose of influencing those banks in connection with mortgage loans. Bangasser was a loan officer at Washington Mutual Bank (WAMU). As part of his sentence, he must also serve six months of home detention following his release from prison. In addition, the court has ordered him to pay more than $450,000 in restitution to JP Morgan Chase (WAMU's successor).

Bangasser pled guilty in December 2011.

According to court documents, Bangasser served as a loan officer at WAMU between 2004 and 2006. In that capacity, he conspired with a number of others in a fraud scheme which centered around the fraudulent acquisition and sale of residential properties in the Sarasota area. In his role as a loan officer, Bangasser assisted borrowers, along with other conspirators working in conjunction with the borrowers, in submitting false loan documents to WAMU to secure mortgages on residential homes.

The conspirators with whom Bangasser was associated included R. Craig Adams and Richard J. Bobka. Adams and Bobka both pled guilty for their roles in the scheme, and are scheduled to be sentenced in October. The false statements made by Bangasser, Adams, Bobka and their conspirators, and the material matters which they concealed from WAMU, included the true identity of the borrowers in the fraudulent loan transactions, as well as the borrowers' actual income and assets.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation - Office of Inspector General, and the Sarasota County Sheriff's Office. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Christopher P. Tuite.

Source: United States Attorney's Office for the Middle District of Florida

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