Mortgage pros plead guilty in scam

May 26, 2010 02:15PM

A former TopDot Mortgage manager pleaded guilty to charges that he and four others at the Long-Island based company engaged in a fraudulent loan application scheme, according to the South Florida Business Journal. Peter Hartofilis, 33, of Flushing, N.Y., will be sentenced in August, together with co-defendant Jason Vitulano, a branch manager, on charges that they allegedly submitted fraudulent loan applications that inflated statements of the applicants’ earnings and assets on deposit in a local bank. A third person, attorney Joseph Miller, acted as closing and title agent on several of the transactions and is alleged to have diverted the loan proceeds to the personal accounts of the defendants. Robert Hofler of Pembroke Pines, a vice president at First Southern Bank in Boca Raton, Fla., and Steve Vento of Jupiter, who purchased two of the properties involved in the scam, have also pleaded guilty and are awaiting sentencing. Each faces up to 30 years in prison on each of the counts against them. In January, Mortgage guarantor Ginnie Mae and the Federal Housing Administration barred TopDot Mortgage from a government-insured program, for reportedly
violating federal lending rules on numerous occasions. [SFBJ]