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P R E S S   R E L E A S E


Feb. 21, 2013

Former Connecticut Resident Sentenced to 37 Months in Prison for Mortgage Fraud Offenses

David B. Fein, United States Attorney for the District of Connecticut, today announced that ERIC S. SCHERZ, 44, of Stuart, Florida, formerly of Barkhamsted, Connecticut, was sentenced yesterday by United States District Judge Vanessa L. Bryant in Hartford to 37 months of imprisonment followed by three years of supervised release for mortgage fraud offenses.

According to court documents and statements made in court, in October 2007, SCHERZ secured a $417,000 mortgage loan to finance the purchase of a property in Barkhamsted. In April 2008, SCHERZ created a fraudulent release of mortgage on the property stating that the lender, a fictitious company SCHERZ created, had received full payment of the loan. SCHERZ subsequently filed the fraudulent release of mortgage with the Town of Barkhamsted.

SCHERZ stopped making payments on his mortgage in March 2009, but in April 2009, he made three fraudulent payments via wire transfer to his mortgage lender that he knew would be and were, in fact, reversed for insufficient funds.

In May 2009, SCHERZ sold the Barkhamsted property for $299,000 to a buyer who relied on the fraudulent release of mortgage as being genuine. At the time of the sale, SCHERZ's unpaid principal balance on his mortgage was $410,718.56. SCHERZ did not use any of the $299,000 from the fraudulent sale to his pay his outstanding mortgage debt.

On January 6, 2012, SCHERZ waived his right to indictment and pleaded guilty to three counts of wire fraud.

SCHERZ has previously served a 70-month federal term of imprisonment for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme in Florida in the 1990s.

This matter was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael J. Gustafson.

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

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