N.J. loan officer pleads in mortgage fraud case

    Federal prosecutors in New Jersey say a loan officer and a straw purchaser have pleaded guilty to conspiring to defraud financial institutions as part of a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scam.

    The U.S. attorney’s office says that 49-year-old Michelle Martinez of Brick and 47-year-old Dana Rummerfield of Los Angeles, Calif., each pleaded guilty before a federal judge in Camden, N.J., on Friday.

    Prosecutors say the two admitted to making illegal profits on over-developed condominiums in the Jersey shore town of Wildwood.

    According to court papers, the conspirators recruited straw buyers with good credit scores to purchase properties at inflated rates. Fraudulent loan applications were prepared for the buyers.

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    Martinez pleaded to a count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Rummerfield pleaded guilty to counts related to wire fraud and money laundering.

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