Former mortgage bank head imprisoned for multi-million dollar fraud

by Anna Sobrevinas28 Mar 2017

A Long Island, N.Y., mortgage exec is facing more than 12 years in prison for an expansive fraud scheme he masterminded more than a decade ago.

In January of last year, 50-year-old Aaron Wider, former head of mortgage bank HTFC Corp., was found guilty of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Last week he was sentenced to 12 ½ years in prison, according to Newsday.

Wider, of Suffolk County, N.Y., and his associates swindled more than $20 million from banks through “falsely overvalued ‘toxic’ mortgages.” Between 2003 and 2008, they bought houses and then used questionable valuations to resell them at ridiculously inflated prices – sometimes double the original price, according to Newsday. They then pocketed the difference.

The fraud contributed to Long Island’s issue with “zombie houses,” or abandoned houses in foreclosure.

“Aaron Wider perpetrated a massive mortgage fraud scheme, the effects of which are still felt to this day by financial institutions and homeowners,” acting US Attorney Bridget Rohde said in a statement.

In addition to the prison term, Wider must serve a 5-year supervised-release sentence for mental health and drug counselling.

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