N.H. man gets 4-year sentence in Hub mortgage scheme

A New Hampshire man has been sentenced to four years for leading a mortgage scheme that defrauded more than a dozen lenders and several home buyers of more than $2 million in connection with the purchase of 26 multi-family properties in Greater Boston, according to Attorney General Martha Coakley.

Following a three-week trial, a Suffolk Superior Court jury convicted Joshua Brown, 31, on charges of making false statements and larceny relating to contracts, banking transactions or credit. Judge Raymond Brassard sentenced Brown to four years, followed by 35 years of probation and ordered him to pay $5 million in restitution.

“This sentence brings closure to a scheme that corrupted every aspect of the real estate industry at the expense of lenders, home buyers and communities in Boston,” said Coakley in a statement. “We are pleased that this sentence not only holds the defendant accountable for his actions, but also brings relief to those he victimized. The prosecution of mortgage fraud is an important priority of this office, and we will continue to pursue instances of corruption in the real estate industry.”

Prosecutors said Brown led Boston Equity Investments, a criminal enterprise headquartered in the Hub’s Andrew Square. Brown and others misrepresented to the lenders the nature of the real estate transactions that BEI handled, as well as the financial background of the home buyers, Coakley said. Those transactions involved more than $12.5 million in mortgage loans. Out of the $2 million defrauded by BEI, Brown collected $1.5 million and used it to fund an extravagant lifestyle, according to prosecutors.

Five co-defendants previously pleaded guilty in connection with their roles in this case including John Sweetland, of Yorba Linda, Calif., mortgage broker Brian Arrington of Boston, Brian Frank of New Hartford, N.Y., mortgage broker Linda Defeo of Springfield and former attorney Bruce Namenson of Walpole.

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