Mortgage Broker Goes to Jail for Phony Deals in Haverhill, Elsewhere

U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz.

Most Deals Ended in Foreclosure

An area mortgage broker was sentenced this week in U.S. District Court in Boston in connection with his role in 20 fraudulent loan transactions, including those in Haverhill.

Michael P. O’Donnell, 54, of Middleton, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to three years in prison, two years of supervised release and ordered to pay a fine of $150,000, according to a statement from the office of U.S. Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz, Boston. In July, 2015, O’Donnell was convicted following a three-day bench trial of attempted bank fraud.

“O’Donnell submitted loan applications and other documents on behalf of borrowers that falsified income, employment and asset information, and supplied closing funds which the borrowers were supposed to provide as part of their loan obligation, for which he was later reimbursed,” a spokesperson said. “O’Donnell also had an arrangement with a tax accountant to provide false letters, tax documents and verbal verifications of employment to lenders for loans O’Donnell sought on behalf of his clients.  O’Donnell also obstructed the government’s investigation by destroying his computer hard-drive.”

From 2004 to 2007, O’Donnell, through his company AMEX Home Mortgage, engaged in a scheme to submit false loan applications to lenders to obtain mortgage loans on behalf of borrowers seeking loans to purchase or refinance real estate. During the three-year scheme, O’Donnell participated in 20 fraudulent loan transactions in which more than $3.7 million in financing was obtained, causing losses of nearly $1.5 million, and earning him nearly $150,000. The properties involved, most of which ended in foreclosure, were located in several North Shore towns, including Haverhill, Salisbury, Salem and Swampscott.

United States Attorney Carmen M. Ortiz and Harold H. Shaw, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Field Division, made the announcement.  Assistant U.S. Attorney Mark J. Balthazard of Ortiz’s Economic Crimes Unit prosecuted the case.

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