Illinois mortgage pros ensnared in alleged fraud scheme

A Chicago-area real estate developer and two mortgage professionals participated in a mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded banks out of at least $3 million, the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Chicago said Tuesday.

Federal authorities this week announced multiple fraud charges against real estate developer Andrzej Lajewski, 53; loan originator Agnieszka Siekowski, 46; loan processor Aldona Bobrowicz, 45; and home remodeler Andrzej Bukowski, 66.

The federal government said Lajewski masterminded the scheme and brought along Siekowski, Bobrowicz and Bukowski to make false representations that caused buyers of Lajewski’s properties on the South Side of Chicago to fraudulently obtain mortgages from various lenders.

The schemers submitted false claims on loan applications, bank statements, gift letters, pay stubs, HIID-I settlement statements and more to get mortgages closed, authorities said.

The alleged scheme occurred over a six-year period ending in April 2016, the government said.

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In some cases, the defendants said borrowers worked at one of Lajewski’s companies, Highland Consulting Corporation and Quality Management and Remodeling, to obtain a mortgage, the U.S. Attorney’s office in Chicago said.

Lajewski and Bukowski at times received proceeds from the sale of properties, and disbursed those proceeds both to compensate co-schemers and to reimburse people who provided downpayment funds to some buyers.

Several of the defendants also bought homes from Lajewski with false loan information, the government claimed.

The supposedly defrauded lenders listed were Primary Mortage Inc., Directors Financial Group, American Fidelity Mortgage Services, Pacific Union Financial, Peoples Home Equity, PMAC Lending Services and HomeBridge Financial Services.

Siekowski’s mortgage loan originator license lapsed at the end of December, records from the Illinois Department of Financial and Professional Regulation show. She most recently worked for Forum Mortgage Bancorp, a regional mortgage brokerage, Illinois state records show.

Each count of financial institution fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in federal prison, prosecutors said.

In its annual mortgage fraud report, CoreLogic found that the risk of mortgage fraud for the 12 months ending June 2020 decreased 26.3% year-over-year nationally. Applications for investment properties showed the highest risk, while VA-based programs showed the lowest.

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