Man Pleads Guilty to Extensive Mortgage Fraud Scheme in Rhode Island
Wednesday, September 26, 2018
Hasan Hussain, 57, of New Jersey, pled guilty to charges that he conspired to defraud financially distressed homeowners, investors, and financial institutions of fees, rental income, mortgage payment funds, property ownership and/or proceeds from the sale of their properties.
Hussain was previously convicted in federal court in Massachusetts.
At sentencing on January 8, 2018, Hussain faces up to 32 years in federal prison, 5 years of supervised release, and a fine of $1,250,000.
A co-defendant in this matter, Ricardo Abreu, who pled guilty earlier this year is scheduled to be sentenced on October 30, 2018.
The Guilty Plea
At the time of his guilty plea to the most recent federal indictment, Hussain admitted to using various business entities to trick distressed property owners, who were seeking loan modifications, into paying him fees, moving out of their homes, and selling their homes in short sale transactions. As part of the plea, Hussain further admitted that he convinced lenders to agree to artificially low sale prices for the distressed property owners’ homes by directing other individuals to damage the properties prior to the short sales. Thereby, Hussain, or individuals or businesses associated with him, acquired the properties at reduced prices, and then flipped them to investors at much higher prices. During his change of plea, Hussain admitted that these investors were defrauded of their funds, or good credit, or both when they agreed to purchase properties from Hussain.
Hussain further admitted that he assisted investors to acquire federally backed mortgages through fraudulent applications, ultimately resulting in losses to the lenders or the Federal Housing Administration. Some of the tactics employed by Hussain as part of the scheme included misuse of identities and cutting and pasting signatures on property deeds and financial documents.
As part of his plea agreement, Hussain admitted that his scheme resulted in losses between $550,000 and $1.5 million dollars; that ten or more victims were harmed; and that at least some of his victims were particularly vulnerable, as a result of their personal situation.
The plea agreement also provided that the government would seek a leadership enhancement for Hussain given the extensive nature of the scheme and his role in it.
Related Slideshow: 2018 Rhode Island Criminal Justice Hall of Fame Inductees - June 2018
Colonel of the Providence Police Department
Clements was appointed to the Providence Police Department on May 5, 1985, as a night Patrol Officer in the Uniform Division. He then went on to serve on the Neighborhood Response Team Uniformed Task Force before being transferred to the Special Investigations Bureau, the department’s vice and drug unit. In 1990, Clements was promoted to Detectives where he worked in the night squad. In 1992, Detective Clements was promoted to the rank of Sergeant where he spent three years as a night Sergeant in Sub-District 1, South Providence. Sergeant Clements was then transferred to the Detective Bureau where he served as the Squad 2 Sergeant and spent the next seven years supervising the investigations of all major crimes including murder, robbery, burglary, firearms offenses and gang activity. In a squad that carried an extremely heavy caseload, he played an active role in several major investigations during this time.
In 2002, Hugh was promoted to the rank of Lieutenant and transferred to the midnight shift of the Patrol Bureau. Lieutenant Clements was later assigned as District 5 Commander covering the neighborhoods of Olneyville, Hartford, and Silver Lake. Consistent with the department philosophy at this time, the true community police model was practiced with several creative and innovative initiatives carried out in this particular district. He was transferred back to the Detective Bureau, and in December 2005, he was promoted to Captain where he was responsible for all major crimes operations in the Investigative Division.
In 2008, when promoted to Major he was assigned for one year as the Commander of the Homeland Security Division, before being reassigned as the Commanding Officer of the Uniform Division.
He later served as Deputy Chief and was appointed as Acting Chief of Police in July 2011, and on January 6, 2012, he was appointed as the 37th Chief of the Department and promoted to the rank of Colonel.
The Honorable Walter Stone
Associate Justice, Rhode Island Superior Court
Walter Stone passed away in September of 2017.
He was named to the bench in October of 2010 by then-Governor Donald Carcieri. He replaced Judge Rogeriee Thompson when she was elevated to serve as a U.S. Circuit Judge.
Before being appointed to the court, Stone was a partner at the Providence-based law firm Adler Pollock & Sheehan.
Stone was a graduate of Fisk University and earned a J.D. from Case Western Reserve School of Law.
Chief, Central Falls Police Department
Joseph Stetkiewicz served as the chief of the Central Falls Police Department from 1946 to 1968.
Director, Roger Williams University Justice System Training, and Research Institute; Lieutenant, East Providence Police Department (Ret.)
Robert McKenna is the Associate Dean and serves as an Assistant Professor of Criminal Justice in the School of Justice Studies at Roger Williams University.
Additionally, he serves as the Director of the Justice System Training & Research Institute, the professional development component of the School of Justice Studies.
Associate Dean McKenna holds a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice and a Master of Science degree in the Administration of Justice from Salve Regina University, Newport, Rhode Island, as well as a Juris Doctor degree from The New England School of Law, Boston, Massachusetts.
(retired) Detective, Providence Police Department; Investigator, Rhode Island Office of Attorney General
A 1968 graduate of the Providence Police Academy, Stephen J. Springer served in the Patrol Bureau for approximately five years before being promoted to Detective. For the next 30 years, he served as a Detective, largely in the South Providence area. During that time, he served as the primary or secondary investigator on more than 200 homicides, a number unmatched in Rhode Island law enforcement. He joined the RI Office of Attorney General in 2004 as an investigator, retiring in December 2017.
He has received numerous awards over his career, including the Attorney General’s Law Enforcement Award (1978), Rhea Archambeault Award (1984), Medal of Valor (1984), Commissioner’s Award (1993), Rhode Island Justice Assistance “Neil Houston Award” (2001), and FOP Outstanding Police Officer of the Year (2002).
Over the course of his nearly 50 years in law enforcement, Stephen Springer epitomized professionalism, dedication, courage, and integrity, tirelessly working on the streets for his entire career, and in the process served as the face of law enforcement to all those he encountered.
Springer and his wife Virginia McGinn reside in Barrington, RI.
Susan Erstling, Ph.D., LICSW
(retired) - Family Services of RI; Rhode Island State Victim Assistance Academy
Erstling headed the Family Service of RI trauma and loss center, and is a founder of the RI State Victim Assistance Academy.
She has a wealth of experience working with victims, witnesses, and responders in the aftermath of violent incidents, including shootings.
She and her team also provided training to professionals across the state regarding the effects of trauma.
Lionel “Pete” Benjamin
Major, Rhode Island State Police
Lionel Benjamin passed away in 2008.
Benjamin joined the RI State Police Department in 1958, retiring as a Major in 1990, having served 15 of those years as the youngest and longest serving Executive Officer in the country.
As a graduate of the F.B.I. Academy, he was recognized for his expertise in the prevention of organized crime and served proudly under the direction of the legendary Colonel Walter E. Stone.
Consistent with his altruistic nature, he had been a volunteer fireman for the Marieville Fire Department for 15 years as well as a U.S. Marine Corps Veteran of the Korean Conflict.
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