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P R E S S   R E L E A S E


April 19, 2012


GRAND RAPIDS, MICHIGAN Mark Alan Maurer, 35, of Kalamazoo, Michigan, was sentenced to 33 months in prison, followed by three years of supervised release, announced U.S. Attorney Donald A. Davis. The sentence was imposed as the result of a November 7, 2011 guilty plea to wire fraud. Maurer obtained loans under false pretenses, and pledged mortgages he did not own as security for other loans he never repaid. In addition to the prison sentence, U.S. District Court Judge Janet T. Neff also ordered Maurer to pay $120,000 in restitution.

Facts admitted at sentencing established that Maurer owed $250,000 to family friend Fred Krymis, who was pressing him for repayment. Maurer convinced investor Herb Fricko to make a $120,000 bridge loan to re-finance the mortgage of homeowner Elizabeth Cain. Maurer falsely told Fricko that Krymis had already agreed to finance the loan, but his wire transfer had been "misdirected" by the bank. He convinced Fricko by fabricating a letter from a bank apologizing to Krymis for the supposed error, and promised Fricko that he would be repaid $130,000 as soon as the wire transfer was rectified. As security for the loan, Maurer gave Fricko a forged promissory note and a forged assignment of mortgage from Krymis.

Maurer admittedly lied to Ms. Cain that Krymis was her mortgage lender, and told her to make her monthly payments to him. After closing, Maurer gave the mortgage to Krymis in partial satisfaction of his $250,000 debt even though he did not actually own it, and had no right to transfer it. When Fricko (the real lender) was not repaid, he sued Krymis and Cain, neither of whom had heard of him. Ms. Cain eventually lost her home. At sentencing, Judge Neff called Maurer "a thief," and opined that the serious nature of the offense, combined with Maurer's history of drunk driving and other offenses, justified a sentence at the high end of the guideline range. "The defendant exploited the trust of his victims for personal profit," said U.S. Attorney Davis, "This sentence should send a clear message that such frauds will not be tolerated by this office or by the Court."

Special Agent Brent Johnson of the FBI investigated the case. Assistant U.S. Attorney Nils R. Kessler handled the prosecution.

Source: United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Michigan

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