Seller Gets 30 Months In Federal Prison For Bank Fraud Conspiracy For Helping Buyer Purchase His Home With Fake Employment History On Mortgage Application

Ryan Geddes was sentenced to 30 months in prison for bank fraud. He was also sentenced to three years of supervised release for bank fraud conspiracy. Geddes participated in multiple conspiracies involving a series of real estate transactions. His intentions were to shield assets from creditors.

Court documents show Geddes had accrued a series of debts as of late 2005. He was also the subject of various lawsuits and collection efforts for the next several years.  A bank fraud conspiracy commenced in November 2005. Geddes had sold a lakefront home located at 27 Palmer Road in Morris to Thomas Provenzano. 

Geddes Helped Provenzano Lie On A Mortgage Application

Provenzano lacked the funds to qualify for the $923,000 mortgage. Provenzano nonetheless obtained the loan based on an application that falsely listed his income as $240,000 annually. In addition, Provenzano claimed as the Operations Manager for one of Geddes’s construction companies. 

Provenzano had not worked in that capacity. He had also earned substantially less. The loan application also listed Geddes’s company as having verified Provenzano’s employment.

In November 2006, Provenzano refinanced the loan obtaining a $936,000 mortgage from a federally insured bank. The new loan application also falsely listed Provenzano as employed by Geddes’s construction company. The application also falsely listed his monthly income as $336,000 annually.  The second application also listed Geddes’s company as having verified Provenzano’s employment.  The loan is now in default, and the 27 Palmer Road property is in foreclosure.

Geddes And Provenzano Commit Blatant Fraud

The first of two mail, wire, and bank fraud conspiracy incidents commenced in December 2009 and January 2010. In a series of discussions among Geddes and Provenzano discussed how to defraud a title insurance company.  The discussions focused on conducting a real property transfer based on a deliberately defective title search.  

Geddes then lodged a fraudulent claim against the title insurer.  The conspirators attempted the scheme on a property controlled by Geddes located at 66 Donahue Road Extension. Provenzano assisted in a title search and Geddes personally reviewed the report. He then omitted the items from the title insurance application.

In addition, Geddes arranged a straw transfer of the property to another individual. Geddes continued to reside in the property. He continued to pay the mortgage and expenses on the property. Geddes deliberately omitted liens totaling $990,000 from the title report. 

The second of the two mail, wire and bank fraud conspiracy incidents commenced in May 2009.

Geddes arranged to transfer another property of his, located in Old Forge, N.Y., to Dustin Whitten. He also continued to use the property and pay the mortgage and maintenance expenses.  Furthermore, Geddes and Whitten arranged to obtain a home insurance policy on the New York property in Whitten’s name.

The New York property was destroyed in a fire on July 4, 2011. Whitten swore out an insurance claim on the property in September 2011. He falsely representing himself as the owner.

He was attempting to seek compensation in the amounts of $515,038.50 for the destroyed structure and $92,974.47 for personal property. The claim was eventually denied by the insurance company. 

Busted

Geddes admitted that the purpose of the scheme was to shield the insurance proceeds from his creditors.

Judge Arterton ordered Geddes to pay $703,698.70 in restitution.

On April 28, 2015, Geddes pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and two counts of conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud.

Provenzano and Whitten previously pleaded guilty. Provenzano was sentenced to 18 months in prison on December 1, 2014. Whitten was sentenced to 12 months in prison on December 18, 2015.

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