Falmouth Man Pleads Guilty to Defrauding Government Loan Program

BOSTON – The president and founder of a Falmouth mortgage company pleaded guilty Wednesday to defrauding the federal government’s mortgage program out of approximately $2.5 million.

Robert Pena, 68, of Falmouth, pleaded guilty in federal court in Boston to one count of conspiracy and six counts of wire fraud.

Prosecutors said Pena was president and founder of the now-defunct mortgage company, Mortgage Security Inc., which contracted with Ginnie Mae.

The government-run corporation is charged with making housing more affordable by injecting capital into the U.S. housing market.

MSI contracted with Ginnie Mae to pool eligible residential mortgage loans and then sell Ginnie Mae-backed mortgage bonds to investors.

Beginning in 2011, Pena began diverting money that borrowers were sending to MSI.

Specifically, he deposited large-dollar, loan-payoff checks into secret accounts unknown to Ginnie Mae and then using those funds for his own personal and business uses.

In total, prosecutors said Pena took nearly $3 million, which Ginnie Mae then had to pay the investors whose investments it had guaranteed.

Pena also attempted to cover up his scheme by providing false reports to Ginnie Mae about the status of the loans MSI was servicing.

The charge of conspiracy provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss.

The charge of wire fraud provides for a sentence of no greater than 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine of $250,000 or twice the gross gain or loss.

U.S. Senior District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf scheduled sentencing forJan. 5, 2018.

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