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For Immediate Release:  
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November 18, 2005

Office of The Attorney General
- Peter C. Harvey, Attorney General
Division of Criminal Justice
- Vaughn L. McKoy, Director
Office of the Insurance Fraud Prosecutor
- Greta Gooden Brown, Insurance Fraud Prosecutor


Rachel Sacharow
609- 984-1936

Union County Man Ordered to Repay More than $4.19 Million Stolen in Multiple Mortgage and Insurance Fraud Scams

TRENTON - Attorney General Peter C. Harvey announced that a Union County man has been ordered to repay more than $4.19 million in restitution after pleading guilty to numerous counts of theft and related charges stemming from several insurance and mortgage fraud schemes, including a scam designed to rip-off a mortgage company involved in the purchase of a multi-million dollar residential property located in Bergen County.

According to Vaughn L. McKoy, Director, Division of Criminal Justice and Insurance Fraud Prosecutor Greta Gooden-Brown, Paul LoPapa, 59, Summit Road, Mountainside, Union County, was ordered by Bergen County Superior Court Judge William C. Meehan to pay more than $4.19 million in restitution and fines and to serve five-years probation. In addition, LoPapa was barred from using the Internet while on probation. Judge Meehan also granted the State permission to monitor LoPapa’s phone bills. On May 3, LoPapa pleaded guilty before Bergen County Superior Court Judge William C. Meehan to charges contained in a State Grand Jury indictment. The indictment charged LoPapa with various crimes including theft by deception, falsifying records, and forgery. At the hearing, LoPapa also pleaded guilty to a separate criminal Accusation charging him with four counts of theft by deception and one count of attempted theft by deception. LoPapa has served more than 500 days in custody for the charges.

In pleading guilty to the charges in the State Grand Jury indictment, LoPapa admitted that between Nov. 1, 1995 and Feb. 1, 1996, he purchased residential real estate (mansion and guest home) located at 73 and 77 East Saddle River Road in Saddle River, Bergen County. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that LoPapa funded the purchase of the Bergen County property through Castle Rock Real Estate - a real estate partnership controlled by LoPapa. The purchase was accomplished by creating a fictitious person - Joseph Georges - and representing that Georges was willing to buy the real estate from LoPapa for $4.9 million. The investigation determined that LoPapa created worthless promissory notes and other financial documents to lure a mortgage lender to back the purchase. Using the worthless promissory note and $1 million in purported cash, LoPapa induced a mortgage lender to advance $3.35 million to finance and acquire the Saddle River property. The mortgage lender in turn, sold the worthless note to an Arkansas mortgage broker. The investigation further revealed that, immediately after the bogus Georges transaction, LoPapa transferred the property to his company, Castle Rock Real Estate, Inc.

LoPapa further admitted that between April, 1996 and January, 1997, he falsely inflated a homeowner’s insurance claim in the amount of $33,400 for artwork that was purportedly damaged by a leaky roof at the East Saddle River Road property. LoPapa submitted the inflated claim to the Great Northern Insurance Company. An investigation by the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor determined that the artwork never existed.

When pleading guilty to the criminal Accusation, LoPapa admitted that between April and August, 2000, that he stole more than $84,000 in loan application fees from four victims. LoPapa represented that he was a real estate investor and mortgage broker employed by the Citadel Group of Companies. LoPapa induced persons looking for real estate loans to pay mortgage application fees, which he (LoPapa) then stole.

State Investigator Joseph Luccarelli and Deputy Attorney General Nicole D. Rizzolo of the Division of Criminal Justice - Office of Insurance Fraud Prosecutor were assigned to the investigation. Det. Sgt. Brian Giannini and Det. Sgt.Thomas Goletz of the New Jersey State Police assisted in the investigation.

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