Prison for Father and Son in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
The father and son who admitted collecting $4,400,000 in mortgage loans under the guise of running a foreclosure-rescue operation head to prison.
In a Newark federal courtroom, Vito Grippo, 58, of Jackson was sentenced to eight years in prison for wire fraud conspiracy, filing false tax returns and procuring the filing of a false return. He's also required to spend five years in supervised release.
Frederick "Freddie" Grippo, 32, of Old Bridge, was given 41 months for wire fraud conspiracy and is subject to three years of supervised release.
A hearing on restitution terms is scheduled for July 17.
Both had pleaded guilty to events that unfolded between January 2008 and February 2010 at Morgan Financial Equity Shares and Vanick Holdings, LLC, of Holmdel.
According to information from the office of New Jersey U.S. Attorney Paul Fishman, Grippo lured investors with what he called an Equity Share Program, ostensibly turning a home in trouble into a limited liability company (LLC), giving the owner 90 percent and dividing the rest between two investors.
In reality, say investigators, the investors were simply straw buyers with good credit ratings. The Grippos and some colleagues, say investigators, sought mortgages for financially risky homes, using investor identification but lying about monthly income, assets and the standing of a home as primary or secondary residence.
Forms were sent to Worldwide Financial Resources where Freddie Grippo, a loan officer for the company, would speed their approvals. Settlement agents receiving the loan money were directed by Vito Grippo to place portions of it into accounts he controlled.
Prosecutors contended that many homeowners, including some in Rutherford, Monroe and in Brooklyn, often had no idea that they were transferring title of their dwellings to the so-called investors.
Vito Grippo also admitted omitting a total of $1,869,492 in gross income through Vanick Holdings LLC for the three-year span.