Is A Family Of Mortgage Fraudsters That Wear Matching Orange Prison Jumpsuits Together
The head of a family of mortgage fraudsters, Christopher Colatrella, 43, Wall Township, New Jersey was sentenced to 5 years in state prison after pleading guilty to 2nd Degree Financial Facilitation of Criminal Activity aka Money Laundering related to an investigation that involved mortgage fraud, theft by deception and money laundering.
Mortgage fraudster Christopher Colatrella’s brother John Colatrella, 52, Long Branch, New Jersey was sentenced to 2 years probation for 3rd Degree Conspiracy to Commit Theft by Deception. John Colatrella’s daughter Alexis Colatrella, 29, Wall Township, New Jersey was admitted into Pre-Trial Intervention for her role obtaining fraudulent mortgages.
The investigation involved over $2 million in fraudulent loans for townhouses located in Lakehurst, New Jersey. The criminal activity resulted in a financial benefit totaling over $740,000 from fraudulent mortgages and the proceeds were inserted and laundered through multiple personal and business accounts.
Investigators stated that Mortgage Fraudster Colatrella sold the units at 114 Center Street to his family members and Martin D’Amato. They then borrowed the money using bogus information about employment, income and assets. The subsequent foreclosures left the lender on the hook with no means of recovering the loans.
In a statement, Ocean County Prosecutor Marlene Lynch Ford characterized it as a “common mortgage fraud or ‘flipping’ scheme. In general the owner of a property sells to a straw purchaser. That purchaser pays for the transaction with funds borrowed from a mortgage lender. The seller realizes substantial profit. The problem is that the transaction is not ‘arm’s length,’ and the buyer is acting at the direction of the seller.”
In 2012, Martin D’Amato, Clara Cara, Dolores Cittadino and Vincent Veritas were charged with theft by deception and conspiracy to commit theft by deception. As part of a plea agreement with the Ocean County Prosecutor’s Office, their charges were dismissed.