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Ex-Bank Official from Bayville Admits Mortgage Fraud, Risks 30 Years

A onetime Wells Fargo loan officer from Bayville becomes the tenth defendant to admit a role in a massive mortgage scam estimated to have generated more than $40,000,000.

Robert Serao, 48, faces a possible 30 years in prison and fines up to $1,000,000 for his guilty plea to wire fraud conspiracy in a Camden federal courtroom.

According to information from New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman’s office, Serao admitted authorizing the release of more than $4,600,000 for loans based on fabricated applications.

Stephen Corba, Charles Harvath, John Siuszko, Michael Williams, William Brown, Mark Kreischer, Crystal Brame, Aku I. Muhammad and George Lachenmayr, Jr., have already entered guilty pleas, authorities said.

Details from Fishman’s office say that Serao conspired with Corba, Harvath, Joseph Witkowski and others to submit applications on behalf of unqualified applicants, or “straw buyers..” Serao is characterized as having held several positions in Wells Fargo Home Mortgage Inc., including branch manager, sales manager and loan officer.

Once the applications, containing outsized income and asset figures, were approved, the conspirators divided portions of the issued money, authorities said. They accused Serao of enriching himself with inflated commissions.

Serao’s sentencing is scheduled for June 24.

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