Methuen Real Estate Broker Pleads Guilty to Fraud in Bogus Short Sale Scheme

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A Methuen real estate broker pleaded guilty to bank fraud in connection with the bogus short sales of homes in Haverhill, Lawrence and Methuen.

Greisy Jimenez, 50, was in court this week to issue her plea in connection with the conspiracy that involved banks and mortgage companies across the Merrimack Valley.

From 2007 to 2010, Jimenez and her co-conspirators, real estate closing attorney Jasmin Polanco and mortgage loan officer Vanessa Ricci allegedly carried out a scheme to defraud banks through bogus short sales in which the purported sellers remained in their homes, with their debt substantially reduced, the Department of Justice said.

An alternative to foreclosure, a short sale takes place when a property is sold for less than the value of any existing mortgage debt on that property.

Jimenez is said to have submitted false documents in an effort to encourage sellers’ banks to permit the short sales and encourage buyers’ banks to provide financing for the transactions. She and her co-conspirators also allegedly furnished phony earnings statements to support loan applications.

U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled Jimenez to be sentenced on April 24.

The charges of bank fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud carry a sentence of no more than 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.