A disbarred attorney-turned property finance loan broker has pleaded guilty to thieving nearly $5 million in refinancing loans, making use of it to obtain dozens of watches and piles of jewelry, as an alternative of shelling out off his clients’ authentic home loans. 

Brent Kaufman, 50, of Commack, N.Y., admitted that on several occasions concerning 2016 and 2019, he mentioned his have bank account quantity on paperwork submitted to new loan companies informing them wherever to ship the funds.

Normally, the revenue would be wired to the homeowner’s initial loan provider to pay back off their present mortgage. As a consequence, Kaufman’s shoppers ended up unknowingly left with two home loans on their homes. In quite a few conditions, the fiscal establishments associated moved to foreclose on the innocent debtors, despite the fact that no just one in the end misplaced their dwelling, a human being familiar with the issue stated.

“This is a traditional case of greed conquering truthful organization practices, as Mr. Kaufman took advantage of his accessibility to clients’ money to enrich his personal life-style,” reported Darnell Edwards of the United States Postal Inspection Service. “His actions remaining quite a few in economic destroy, keeping two home loans and dealing with the danger of foreclosures.”

Prosecutors say Kaufman had been operating as a property finance loan broker even though he experienced no license.  Kaufman faces up to 30 a long time in jail as effectively as $1 million in fines. Prosecutors have also moved to have the dozens of watches and pieces of jewellery seized from Kaufman’s home forfeited to the govt.

In an e-mail, Kaufman’s attorney reported his consumer “regrets his part in the offense,” and “looks forward to shifting on to the upcoming chapter in his everyday living.”

In accordance to civil lawsuits filed by many of the lenders who were being defrauded in the situation, Kaufman’s customers appeared to be largely new immigrants with households in Prolonged Island and Queens. 

In some circumstances, Kaufman would use some of the $4.7 million he had pocketed to carry on producing home finance loan payments on the homeowners’ original financial loans, or even pay them off, to stay clear of detection, prosecutors stated. In all, prosecutors say Kaufman kept roughly $2.5 million for himself.

At the time a attorney, Kaufman was sentenced to 18 months in prison and disbarred in 2000 for his role in a individual bankruptcy fraud circumstance, records demonstrate.