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A federal judge has sentenced a lawyer who used to practice in Massachusetts to eight months of home confinement for not reporting a mortgage fraud scheme at his former firm.

On January 28, Chief Judge Patti Saris of the District of Massachusetts sentenced Sean Robbins, 39, who now lives in New York, to that period of home confinement as part of three years of probation. Saris also ordered Robbins to pay $300,000 in restitution.

Last September, Robbins pleaded guilty to 24 counts of misprision of felony—the failure to report knowledge of a felony to authorities.

Robbins knew about and concealed mortgage fraud cooked up by his former employer, Marc Foley, who had a law firm in Needham, Mass.

Also in September, a jury convicted Foley of 33 counts of wire fraud and five counts of money laundering. According to the evidence, Foley defrauded six mortgage lenders who provided a collective $4.9 million in real estate loans for condominium units in a building in Dorchester, Mass., in December 2006 and January 2007.

In December 2012, Judge Richard Stearns of the District of Massachusetts sentenced Foley to 72 months in prison and three years of supervised release. He also issued a special assessment of $3,800 and ordered Foley to pay nearly $2.2 million restitution. Foley’s appeal is pending.

Robbins’ criminal actions took place in December 2006 and January 2007, while he was an associate at Foley’s firm.

Robbins knew Foley fraudulently led lenders to believe the firm collected $449,000 in down payments and other expenses from buyers who bought condominiums. He conducted some of the closings, hid the crimes and failed to report Foley’s firm.

Robbins’ lawyer, Scott Lopez, a partner at Boston’s Lawson & Weitzen, declined to comment.

In an emailed statement, spokeswoman Christina DiIorio-Sterling of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Massachusetts said, "We urged the Court to impose a prison term of seven months…in light of both the seriousness of the conduct and the need to provide deterrence for other attorneys who might engage in mortgage fraud."

Sheri Qualters can be contacted at squalters@alm.com.

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