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For Immediate Release:  
For Further Information Contact:
September 26, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director

 

John R. Hagerty
609-984-1936

 

Former N. Jersey Mortgage Broker Sentenced to 5 Years In State Prison after Pleading Guilty to Mortgage Fraud
Indictment Charged $200,000 Theft of Mortgage Funds

TRENTON -Attorney General Peter C. Harvey and Vaughn L. McKoy, Director, Division of Criminal Justice, announced that a former Somerset County-based mortgage broker has been sentenced to five years in state prison and ordered to pay nearly $200,000 in restitution after pleading guilty to stealing mortgage funds which were to be used to pay down home buyer mortgages.

According to Criminal Justice Director McKoy, Jason Goddard, 32, 153 Broad St., Summit, Union County, was sentenced on Sept. 24 by Somerset County Superior Court Judge Edward M. Coleman to five years in state prison and ordered to pay $194,796 in restitution to four New Jersey banks, mortgage institutions and a related business. Goddard, remanded to the custody of the New Jersey Department of Corrections, pleaded guilty to a charge of criminal conspiracy on April 16 before Judge Coleman.

Director McKoy noted that Goddard, was charged via a Jan. 21, 2004 State Grand Jury indictment obtained by the Division of Criminal Justice - Financial Crimes Bureau. The indictment charged Goddard and co-defendant Isaac Briggs, 32, 466 Highland Ave. (last known address), Orange, Essex County, with conspiracy, theft by deception, and money laundering.
Briggs entered a guilty on June 10 to a charge of money laundering and is scheduled to be sentenced on Oct. 20.

The State Grand Jury indictment charged that between June 1, 2002 and Feb. 28, 2003, Goddard, a former Somerset County-based mortgage broker, and Briggs, formerly employed at PrimCorp Financial, located at 228 Kingsberry Drive, Somerset, Somerset County, acted as mortgage brokers for the sale of two Essex County residential properties located at 25 Linden St. in E. Orange and at 280-84 Orange Ave. in Irvington.

The indictment charged that on June 25, 2002, the 25 Linden Street property was sold to an interested buyer. Goddard and Briggs arranged for a $153,000 mortgage. The real estate closing was handled by Milton Malkin, Esq. (now deceased) who wrote a $100,000 trust account check to the bank holding the seller’s mortgage. Instead of paying off the existing mortgage, the indictment charged that Goddard and Briggs cashed the $100,000 check and kept the money.

A second theft count in the indictment charged that on Dec. 20, 2002, Goddard and Briggs undertook and completed a similar fraud involving the 280-84 Orange Ave. property. It was charged that while a contract to purchase the property never materialized, Goddard and Briggs fraudulently secured a mortgage for the property in the name of the potential buyer and kept $154,405 in proceeds.

“The Division of Criminal Justice obtained guilty pleas from both defendants who admitted that they diverted tens-of-thousands of dollars in monies intended to pay-off prior mortgages on two Essex County residential properties and then laundered the money through bank accounts under their control,” McKoy said. “The Division of Criminal Justice is targeting unscrupulous individuals in the mortgage industry who endeavor to win the trust of home buyers only to steal their money and their dream of home ownership.”

The prosecution was coordinated by Deputy Attorney General Eric Schweiker and Francine Ehrenberg assigned to the Division of Criminal Justice - Major Financial Crimes Bureau. The investigation was conducted by State Investigator Raymond Gardner.

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