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P R E S S   R E L E A S E

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE:

March 26, 2013


Former North Castle Republican Chairwoman Sentenced in Residential Mortgage Fraud Scheme

March 26, 2013 -- Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Loronda Murphy (DOB 07/13/64) of 4 Heather Lane, Greenwich, Connecticut, was sentenced today to 4 to 13 years in prison on her September 2012 guilty plea to:
  • one count of Residential Mortgage Fraud in the First Degree, a class "B" Felony,
  • one count of Residential Mortgage Fraud in the Second Degree, a class "C" Felony,
From April 2009 to June 2009, operating under the home mortgage closing company Settle One Corporation, with an office located at 428 Main Street in Armonk, New York, the defendant, Loronda Murphy along with real estate attorney Scott Forcino, engaged in what amounted to a home mortgage fraud "Ponzi" scheme.

The targeted homeowner/victims each took out a new mortgage on their home through Settle One Corporation with the understanding that real estate attorney Scott Forcino would oversee their closing and that money from their new mortgage would pay off their pre-existing mortgage.

However, Forcino instead allowed Murphy to fraudulently assume the role of attorney for each closing, and, much to the homeowner's surprise, rather than paying off their pre-existing mortgage, Murphy instead stole portions of their new loan money and left their pre-existing mortgage unpaid.

Murphy's theft then left the homeowner with the unsustainable burden of having multiple mortgages on their family home at one time.

Over this time period the pair defrauded five victims including Murphy's father.

In addition to skimming money out of the Settle One Corporation bank account for her own personal benefit, Murphy also attempted to conceal her crimes by using money left in the Settle One bank account to make monthly mortgage payments on various unpaid mortgages and, in some cases, Murphy even stole one homeowner's new mortgage loan money and used it to pay off another homeowner's previously unpaid mortgage.

In the three months, beginning in April of 2009 and ending in June of 2009, Murphy orchestrated the preparation and submission of a series of false mortgage documents in connection with five mortgage loan closings that resulted in her, through the Settle One bank account, receiving over one million dollars from two home mortgage lenders: Wells Fargo Bank and Live Well Financial.

In turn, Murphy then stole over fifty thousand dollars in loan money from each of five Westchester County homeowners, including her own elderly father, all for her own personal financial gain and to cover up her continuing criminal activity.

In September 2010, search warrants were executed leading to an eleven month investigation by the District Attorney's office with the assistance of the Town of North Castle Police Department.

"This type of criminal activity is what contributed to the collapse of the nation's residential housing market from which the housing sector is only now beginning to recover. These defendants, one a former Town political leader and the other a real estate attorney, built a corrupt enterprise abusing the lending process and defrauding numerous victims, including the defendant's own father." said District Attorney Janet DiFiore after the defendant was sentenced.

An Order of Restitution signed by the Court requires the defendant to pay $720,288 in restitution to her victims.

In addition, Scott Forcino (DOB 04/12/66) of 400 Wilmot Road, New Rochelle, New York was sentenced on Jan. 8, 2013 to five years probation on his September 2012 guilty plea to:
  • one count of Criminal Facilitation in the Fourth Degree, a class "A" Misdemeanor.
As a condition of his plea, Forcino resigned from the New York State Bar.

Assistant District Attorney Brian Fitzgerald of the Economic Crimes Bureau Mortgage Fraud Unit - prosecuted the case.


Source: Westchester County District Attorney


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