Maple Grove man gets 3 years for $20M mortgage fraudby Jessica Mador, Minnesota Public Radio
St. Paul, Minn. — A Maple Grove man was sentenced Tuesday to more than three years in prison for his part in a $20 million mortgage fraud scheme involving dozens of real estate transactions.
U.S. District Court Judge Richard Kyle sentenced Thomas John Hunter to 40 months in prison, on one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. He was also ordered to pay more than $228,000 in restitution.
As part of a plea deal, the 31-year-old co-owner of Legacy Lending admitted to using so-called straw buyers to buy homes for inflated prices.
From September 2005 to July 2007, Hunter participated in a scheme involving fraudulent mortgage loans from unsuspecting lenders.
Jeanne Cooney from the U.S. Attorney's Office says Hunter and others then used the excess money for their own profit.
"From that amount at least $2.2 million was actually received by the participants in the illegal scheme," she said.
The fraud involved the purchase of 37 properties and cost lenders $20 million in losses.