Branford woman to serve 41 months in mortgage fraud case

A Branford woman was sentenced Tuesday to 41 months in federal prison followed by two years of supervised release for her role in a $9 million mortgage fraud scheme in southeastern Connecticut.

Stacey Petro, also known as Stacy Moises, a 37-year-old mother of two from Branford, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. U.S. District Judge Alfred V. Covello imposed the sentence in federal court in Hartford Tuesday and ordered Petro to make restitution in the amount of $ $6,348,403.15.

Petro was the 11th of 16 defendants to plead guilty in the scheme. As the owner and operator of First Source, a mortgage company, she brokered dozens of fraudulent mortgages, according to the government. She arranged the deals knowing the borrowers did not intend to live in the homes or buy the homes, and did not make the income they listed in the loan applications. Many of the borrowers listed fictitious jobs with The Cutting Edge, a company owned by her co-defendant Brian Guimond.

Petro faced 41 to 51 months in prison under federal sentencing guidelines. In a sentencing memorandum, U.S. Attorney David B. Fein and prosecutors David T. Huang and Michael S. McGarry urged the court to impose the full sentence because she played an active role in the multimillion dollar conspiracy. She employed José Guzman, a key player in the scheme who has been cooperating with the government and who awaits sentencing.

Her attorney, Bruce D. Koffsky, asked for a 27-month sentence and provided the court with letters from family members, co-workers and others who cited the plight of her two young children, her lack of a criminal record and her positive contributions to her community.

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