A former Las Vegas loan officer was sentenced to 11 years in federal prison Thursday in a more than $2.2 million mortgage fraud scheme that occurred in 2006.
Nicholas Lindsey, 40, also was ordered to pay more than $2.2 million in restitution and serve five years of supervised release when he gets out of prison.
A federal jury in April convicted Lindsay, who worked as a loan officer for Clear Mortgage and Signature Mortgage, of nine counts of wire fraud and one count of aggravated identity theft.
“Many innocent homeowners in Nevada have suffered because of this type of crime involving fraudulent residential mortgage transactions,” Nevada U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden said in a news release. “Unfortunately, these crimes are not victimless and the damage to the community is lasting.
From May to September 2006, Lindsey recruited straw buyers to the scheme and obtained more than $3 million in mortgage loans for five homes by supplying false information on their loan applications, prosecutors alleged.
Once the mortgages were approved, Lindsey fraudulently diverted to his bank account a portion of the proceeds disbursed from escrow and used the funds for his own benefit, prosecutors alleged. Lindsey made additional profits renting out the homes in the buyers’ names.
Lindsey also stole the identities of two buyers and used the information to purchase three more homes in their names, according to prosecutors. He leased two of the properties and used the third as his own personal residence.
After collecting profits, prosecutors alleged, Lindsey stopped making the mortgage payments and allowed all eight homes to default in the borrowers’ names.
He also was alleged to have used his position as a loan officer to commit fraud related to five additional properties.
The case was investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Christina Brown and Brian Young, a trial attorney with the Justice Department’s Fraud Section in Washington.