Former scientist gets four-year sentence in mortgage scam case

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A former Pfizer Inc. senior scientist and local real estate developer was sentenced today to four years in prison and ordered to pay a $100,000 fine for her role in an elaborate mortgage scam that cost taxpayers and banks some $4 million.

Wendy J. Werner, 46, a former New London resident now living in Sarasota, Fla., was convicted earlier this year in Hartford’s U.S. District Court on conspiracy and mail-fraud counts. She is expected to go to prison Nov. 1 and, as a native of Australia, will face deportation hearings upon her release.

She sold three poorly maintained properties on Lake Street in Norwich at a steep markup of $800,000 to straw buyers – people who signed their names to documents but never made a mortgage payment - and then gave Syed A. “Ali” Babar of New London, admitted mastermind of the scheme, a $283,000 kickback, according to an indictment.

Two of those indicted for being straw buyers in the Norwich scheme, Mohammad Saleem and Rehan Qamer, have never been caught and are believed to have fled to Pakistan.

 

 

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