Four real estate attorneys were among 14 people charged in a mortgage fraud indictment yesterday. Southern District U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara announced that the scheme, which covered several counties and more than 100 mortgages on some $58 million in residential properties, was run through the Long-Island-based mortgage broker First Class Equities by its president and owner Gerard Canino of Merrick.
Charged in the indictment were real estate attorneys Neal Sultzer, 61, of Plainview; Michael Raphan, 63, of Oceanside; Jacquelyn Todaro, 41, of Westbury; and Kevin Hymowitz, 38, of Armonk. Also charged was disbarred attorney Michael Schlussel, 50, of Merrick. All of the defendants are accused of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud by using straw buyers and phony documents purporting to show their net worth, income and plans to live in the properties. Mr. Sultzer also faces a charge of bank fraud.
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