Maryland mortgage broker pleads guilty to loan fraud
A Maryland mortgage broker yesterday pleaded guilty to several counts of mail fraud. The broker is being charged by the U.S. Attorney for Maryland. These charges are in connection with multiple fraudulent loans and mortgages.
Maryland mortgage fraud
Douglas Skibicki, a Maryland mortgage broker, has pleaded guilty to several counts of mail fraud. Skibicki has admitted that he participated in a scheme to defraud lenders, family members and banks. He applied for and received multiple mortgages and helped others receive mortgages under entirely fraudulent circumstances. In several cases, Skibicki worked with an appraiser that provided fraudulent appraisals, often of empty lots.
Families lost out with installment loans
The Maryland installment loans that Skibicki brokered were originally intended for families and businesses. These real estate loans were taken out as ways to refinance existing mortgages and get more financing out of existing properties. Many of the properties were empty lots or had minimal structures on the property. However, appraisals indicated that the there were three and four bedroom homes worth hundreds of thousands of dollars. Skibicki also submitted false documentation to banks and mortgage lenders, creating loans that families simply were not able to pay back.
The punishment for mortgage fraud
Though the mortgage fraud Skibicki has been charged with cost millions of dollars, he has been charged with mail fraud. A cease and desist order has also been issued against Skibicki, preventing him from ever doing business in the short-term loan, financial, or mortgage industry again. Because Skibicki mailed the mortgage forms to lenders, the mail fraud charge is more severe. Sentencing is schedule for April of this year, and he could be facing up to 20 years in prison, in addition to forfeiting $1.4 million in property and gains, as well as being fined twice the amount of ill-gotten gains.