New Orleans lawyer gets 3 years in Nevada mortgage fraud case


A New Orleans lawyer was sentenced to three years in federal prison Wednesday in one of the largest mortgage fraud cases in Nevada.

David Mark, 37, who was living in Las Vegas when the massive scheme unfolded, was convicted at trial in April of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire and mail fraud, two counts of bank fraud and one count mail fraud.

Senior U.S. District Judge Philip Pro ordered Mark to surrender to prison authorities on Jan. 31.

Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden hailed the sentence Wednesday.

“The U.S. Attorney’s Office has been working diligently with its law enforcement partners since the mid-2000s to investigate and prosecute hundreds of persons who took advantage of their positions of trust to commit mortgage fraud,” Bogden said in a release. “The harm to the community has been enormous, and we hope that the prison sentences that have been imposed have sent a message to others that this type of crime will not be tolerated.”

Mark had provided the FBI in November 2007 with information that led to the indictment of a prominent mortgage industry couple in a fraud scheme that prosecutors alleged cost banks more than $52 million.

Prosecutors promised Mark immunity if he continued to cooperate against mortgage broker Steven Grimm and his ex-wife, real estate broker Eve Mazzarella.

Mark, who is not a licensed Nevada lawyer, was working as a transaction coordinator for Mazzarella’s real estate company at the time.

Grimm and Mazzarella were accused of using straw buyers between 2003 and 2008 to enrich themselves in a scheme that caused lending institutions to make $107 million worth of mortgage loans on 227 properties.

Both defendants were convicted and given stiff prison terms.

Mark ended up being charged in the case after prosecutors said he “feigned memory loss” and breached the verbal immunity agreement before the couple’s trial.

Contact reporter Jeff German at jgerman@reviewjournal.com or 702-380-8135. Followhim on Twitter @JGermanRJ.

 

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