A Hillsborough man admitted to submitting false information and documents in connection with several fraudulent home loans a Marlboro man obtained for more than $2.6 million.
Leonardo A. Hernandez, 41, of Hillsborough, pleaded guilty Tuesday to theft by deception as a disorderly persons offense in a plea deal, according to a State Attorney General news release. Hernandez faces a sentence of probation.
The loans were in connection with lawyer Mark J. Bellotti, 56, of Marlboro, who was sentenced to five years in prison and a $50,000 fine after he was found guilty of obtaining $2.6 million of fraudulent home loans. Bellotti plead guilty in February of filing false mortgage loan applications, the release said.
Previously in this case, Jonathan P. Domash, 42, of Marlboro, and owner of Diversified Assets, LLC, was sentenced to three years of probation for his involvement in the home loan scam.
Bellotti and Domash admitted that they conspired to falsify mortgage loan applications to cause banks to provide loans to unqualified home buyers.
Filing the false applications caused several banks to provide loans to unqualified people, who eventually foreclosed on properties, according to the release.
“This lawyer and his co-conspirators falsified mortgage applications so they could siphon away big closing fees, while leaving behind a trail of foreclosed properties and borrowers with ruined credit,” said Director Stephen J. Taylor of the Division of Criminal Justice. “We urge people to contact us confidentially to report lawyers and other licensed professionals who commit fraud.”
Fraudulent loans were filed in Marlboro, Newark, Hillsborough, Plainfield, Keansburg and Asbury Park.
Superior Court Judge Anthony J. Mellaci Jr. in Monmouth County sentenced both men. The investigation was conducted and coordinated for the Division of Criminal Justice Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau by Detective Kimberly Allen, Deputy Attorney General Noto, and Supervising Deputy Attorney General Terrence Hull, Chief of the Financial & Computer Crimes Bureau.