A Commack man could spend up to 30 years in prison after pleading guilty to a $4.7 million mortgage fraud scheme.
Brent Kaufman, 50, served as an unlicensed mortgage broker, helping clients refinance homes in Queens and Long Island, prosecutors said. Rather than paying off their existing mortgages, however, Kaufman fed lenders false wire information, diverting millions of dollars in his clients’ funds into his personal bank accounts.
The scheme caught up with Kaufman on Tuesday, when he entered a guilty plea in a Brooklyn federal court, according to the Department of Justice.
Kaufman’s scheme stuck his clients with two mortgages, leaving some in financial ruin. He did pay off some old mortgages to avoid being caught, but not others. Several had their homes foreclosed upon due to the scheme, which ran from 2016 to 2019, according to a DOJ statement.
Prosecutors allege that lenders lost a net total of nearly $2.5 million from the scheme. In addition to a potential prison term — Kaufman is set to be sentenced in January — he faces a forfeiture and fine of up to $1 million.
“Today’s guilty plea reminds us of the threat posed by those who prioritize their own financial interests above all else,” said FBI Assistant Director-in-Charge Michael Driscoll in the DOJ release.
Kaufman’s attorney said his client acknowledges his crimes and “is looking forward to putting this chapter in his life behind him,” according to Newsday.