Six lawyers were among 41 defendants charged in New York Thursday for allegedly using fraud to obtain over $64 million in mortgages on more than 100 properties. U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced the multi-agency effort, dubbed “Operation Bad Deeds,” at a news conference, saying the 41 were charged in eight separate cases representing a “smorgasbord of scams” (See Charging Documents). In one $23 million fraud, attorneys Cheddi B. Goberdhan of Elmont, 55, and Ravi Persuad of Glen Head, 43, were accused of acting as closing lawyers for properties obtained by straw buyers who had little or no assets and not enough income to purchase the property. The two allegedly disbursed illicit payments to their co-conspirators.
Attorney Dean A. Reskakis of Hempstead, 37, was the name defendant in an indictment accusing him of causing forged and fraudulent documents to be submitted to lenders for more than $6 million in loans. Lawyers Dustin J. Dente of Roslyn, 38, and Brandon Lisi of Glen Cove, 36, were charged in a criminal complaint with using straw purchasers to obtain loans with a face value of over $3.5 million. Lisi had already been arrested last week as part of another mortgage fraud sweep and Dente was charged with grand larceny in connection with mortgage fraud by Suffolk County prosecutors in March.
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