A 35-year-old Stamford lawyer is facing up to 30 years in prison in connection with an extensive mortgage fraud scheme.
Christopher Brecciano accepted a plea bargain Feb. 12 in U.S. District Court in Bridgeport, for conspiring to defraud financial institutions in a scheme that involved dozens of Fairfield County properties.
Through this scheme, lenders suffered losses of more than $7 million, according to prosecutors.
His sentencing is set for May 7 before Chief U.S. District Judge Janet Hall.
Patricia King, the state’s chief disciplinary counsel, said that her office has no updates at this point about his law license. “We will have to wait for the federal court to suspend him, then we will file for interim suspension. Once he is sentenced, we can file on the conviction,” King said.
Brecciano’s lawyer, Audrey Felsen of Koffsky & Felsen of Stamford, declined to comment.
Brecciano pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. The conduct occurred while he was working as an associate at a Stamford law firm, federal prosecutors said.
They said the conspiracy involved the purchase of single- and multifamily properties, mainly in Bridgeport, Norwalk and Stamford.
He was the closing attorney for at least 50 mortgage loan transactions in which he provided false information to mortgage lenders, they said.
The fraudulent information included false verifications of down payments for real estate transactions, false deeds and false HUD-1 forms, prosecutors said.
In many of the transactions, prosecutors said that he knew the borrower was a “straw buyer,” and that other individuals intended to control the property and collect rent from the property. In many cases, he distributed mortgage loan funds to the straw buyer and other co-conspirators at the closing, they said.
Prosecutors said that many of these properties ended up in foreclosure, or in short sale transactions.
Brecciano admitted he was involved in many short sale transactions in which he knew that the buyer and seller were working together to retain control of the property while representing to the lender that the sale was an arm’s length transaction, federal prosecutors said.
This investigation is being conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, and the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Ann M. Nevins and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney John McReynolds.•