Woman gets three years in father's mortgage scam

Isaura Guzman, 28, of New London was sentenced Wednesday in U.S. District Court in Hartford to more than three years in prison for her role in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud orchestrated by her father, Jose Guzman of Waterford.

The 37-month sentence, which is to be followed by three years of supervised release, was imposed by Senior Judge Alfred V. Covello. Covello also ordered her to pay restitution of $7.8 million.

Isaura Guzman pleaded guilty in June 2010 to one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. Her father also has pleaded guilty as the scheme's mastermind and is awaiting sentencing.

A six-month investigation by The Day in 2007 found that dozens of individuals, many of them Hispanic, faced foreclosure and ruined credit after they were approved for home loans they could not afford, the loans approved based on false information. Some said they purchased multiple houses through the same group and did not understand the paperwork they signed.

Isaura Guzman, an assistant to her father and a real-estate agent for Elizabeth Athan Realty, was one of the subjects of the investigation.

According to court documents, she participated in the mortgage fraud.

"Isaura Guzman bought and/or sold at least four houses as part of the conspiracy, and she recruited at least three other individuals into the scheme to act as buyers," according to a summary of the case provided by the U.S. Attorney's Office in Connecticut.

The scheme involved obtaining funding from mortgage companies by filing fraudulent documents that included inflated income and assets as well as faked employment and rental histories. Borrowers stated they intended to occupy the homes as their primary residence but failed to live up to the promise, the summary said, with members of the conspiracy splitting mortgage money based on inflated home valuations.

The conspiracy cost lenders more than $9 million, according to prosecutors. Most of the losses for more than 200 fraudulent mortgages occurred in New London County, according to a case summary.


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