Wednesday, Oct. 30, 2013 | 5:25 p.m.
A New Orleans lawyer who was working in Las Vegas as a real estate agent was sentenced to three years in prison in a mortgage fraud operation that scammed more than $50 million from financial institutions, U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro announced today.
David M. Mark, 37, was convicted in April on one count of conspiracy to commit bank, wire and mail fraud; two counts of bank fraud; and one count of mail fraud. He is free on a personal recognizance bond and must report to federal prison by Jan. 31.
Mark was working for Distinctive Real Estate and Investments from about March 2006 to December 2007 when he solicited people with good credit to buy homes in the Las Vegas area, making arrangements to buy the homes above sellers’ asking prices and funneling the excess to businesses owned by fellow scammers.
Mark also filled out mortgage loan applications for the straw buyers knowing they could not afford and did not intend to make payments. Once the mortgage loans were approved by financial institutions, Mark arranged for disbursements to companies controlled by the other scammers who had an interest in the transactions. Mark’s co-conspirators defaulted on the mortgage payments, causing the properties to go into foreclosure and causing losses to the financial institutions of more than $50 million.
Eva Mazzarella, owner of Distinctive Real Estate, was convicted of fraud in December 2011 and sentenced to 14 years in prison in connection with the scheme.