A man who was extradited from Ireland last year pleaded guilty this week in federal court to charges connected to mortgage fraud involving multi-family buildings in Dorchester and South Boston that swindled lenders out of $1.5 million, prosecutors said.
Patrick Lee, a 45-year-old dual US-Irish citizen who formerly lived in Canton and Easton, pleaded guilty on Tuesday to wire fraud and making an unlawful monetary transaction, according to the US Attorney’s Office for Massachusetts.
Federal prosecutors said Lee during a 23-month period ending in May 2007 “engaged with others in a mortgage fraud scheme.”
Lee or a relative bought five multi-family buildings in Dorchester and South Boston, financed the purchases with fraudulently obtained mortgage loans, and then converted the buildings to condominiums, according to the attorney’s office. The condo conversions facilitated the resale of the individual units to straw buyers, prosecutors said.
The straw buyers were recruited to make the purchases, which were financed with fraudulently obtained mortgage loans, authorities said. Such buyers were told they would not have to put any money down or pay the mortgages, prosecutors said. According to the attorney’s office, the buyers were also told that they “would get a fee at closing and/or a share of the profits when the properties were sold.”
Federal authorities estimate that mortgage lenders suffered losses of more than $1.5 million through the scheme.
When Lee was extradited from Ireland to the US in 2017 to face charges, it was the first such extradition since 2012. Now, he faces up to 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release, and a fine for the wire fraud charge, and up to 10 years in prison, three years of supervised release and a fine for the other charge, according to federal authorities.
He is scheduled to be sentenced in February .