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11th Sentenced in Flipping Scheme
Man receives sentence for alleged role in mortgage fraud scam
| SPRINGFIELD, Mass. -- (Jan. 18) -- A Wilbraham man
was sentenced today in federal court for conspiracy to launder money and
wire fraud in connection to his role in a land-flipping and mortgage fraud
United States Attorney Michael J. Sullivan (http://www.usdoj.gov/usao/ma/usattorney.html);
Sharon E. Ormsby, Acting Special Agent in Charge of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation in New England; Douglas
A. Bricker, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Internal
Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation; and Peter Emerzian,
Special Agent in Charge of the Department of Housing and
Urban Development's Office of Inspector General, announced
today that MICHAEL BERGDOLL, age 42, of 10 Beechwood Drive,
Wilbraham, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Michael
A. Ponsor to 2 years and 9 months imprisonment, to be followed
by 3 years of supervised release. BERGDOLL was also ordered
to pay restitution in the amount of $318,000 to the victim
lending institutions. On May 4, 2006, BERGDOLL pleaded guilty
to conspiracy to launder money and wire fraud.
At the earlier plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that, had
the case proceeded to trial, the Government's evidence would have proven
that BERGDOLL conspired with others to purchase distressed properties and
then re- sell the properties at artificially inflated values. BERGDOLL
induced prospective buyers by telling them they would not have to make any
down payment and promising money back to the buyers at the real estate
closing. The buyers were then referred to mortgage brokers who were
involved in the land- flipping schemes.
Since many of the prospective buyers did not have the financial ability
to qualify for the loans, BERGDOLL and his co-conspirators generated and
produced false and fraudulent loans for the prospective buyers. The false
documentation included false down payment information, fraudulent income
information, and false documentation to show improvements to the properties
that were never made. BERGDOLL and his co-conspirators also used real
estate appraisers involved in the scheme to generate false and fraudulent
appraisals to support the loan amounts for the artificially inflated
Once the unwitting lending institutions approved the loan applications
of the prospective buyers, BERGDOLL and his co-conspirators then referred
the buyers to attorneys also involved in the scheme. The attorneys
generated false and fraudulent real estate closing documentation to
facilitate and conceal the fraud.
BERGDOLL is the eleventh person to be sentenced for participation in
this fraudulent land-flipping scheme.
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the
Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation, and the Department of
Housing and Urban Development's Office of Inspector General. It was
prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Paul Hart Smyth in Sullivan's
Source: U.S. Attorney