Saugerties residents convicted of mortgage fraud

Two Saugerties residents were convicted by a jury in federal court today on charges stemming from a mortgage fraud scheme, according to a press release from the FBI.

Thomas Komasa, 47 and Heidi Komasa, 39, were both convicted by a jury in United States District Court in Burlington, according to the Office of the United States Attorney for the District of Vermont. Thomas Komasa was convicted on ten counts of bank, mail and wire fraud. Heidi Komasa was convicted of eight counts of the bank, mail and wire fraud, but was acquitted on one count of mail fraud.

According to the indictment from a federal grand jury in May 2010, the Komasas made false statements and used falsified documentation to obtain mortgage loans to buy and refinance five properties in Vermont between 2004 and 2006.

The Komasas resold one of the five properties in 2006, gaining a small profit. However, they were unable to maintain payments on the other four mortgages, leading them to be foreclosed, the press release said.

Thomas Komasa was charged with bank fraud after writing a $19,000 check drawn from an account that had been closed for almost four years and later using the money to “engage in financial transactions” with the funds.

The Burlington Free Press reported the conviction yesterday. From their story:

“This was an important case for us,” said U.S. Attorney for Vermont Tristram Coffin, who personally helped prosecute the case. “Our office has tried to emphasize the prosecution of financial crimes and this is part of that effort.”

The Komasas, who now live in Saugerties, N.Y., has contended the faulty loans were the result of shoddy banking practices, driven by the banks’ focus on profits over making sure paperwork for the loans was done properly.

If convicted, the Komasas could each face up to 30 years in prison and fines up to $1 million.

The date of the Komasas’ sentencing has not yet been released.