Criminal Justice News

Monday, October 01, 2012

Minneapolis Man Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud in Connection with Burnsville Condo Project

MINNEAPOLIS—Today in federal court, a 43-year-old Minneapolis man pleaded guilty to defrauding mortgage lenders out of millions of dollars in connection with the sale of condominiums at Chateau Ridge in Burnsville. Jared Mitchell Rothenberger pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Rothenberger was charged in an information on September 27, 2012. He entered his plea before United States District Judge Susan R. Nelson.

Rothenberger admitted that in 2006 and 2007, he was part of a conspiracy to defraud mortgage lenders by finding buyers to apply for loans to purchase units at Chateau Ridge. He testified that he provided buyers with funds for down payments and closing costs and was then reimbursed after the sales by the property seller, although these actions were not disclosed to lenders. Furthermore, Rothenberger participated in the distribution of mortgage loan proceeds outside of property closings, again without informing the lenders. Some of the funds were paid to management companies set up for the purpose of channeling kickbacks to people involved in the scheme, Rothenberger admitted.

For his offense, Rothenberger faces a potential maximum penalty of five years in prison, as well as possible fines and forfeitures. Judge Nelson will determine his sentence at a future hearing, not yet scheduled.

This case is the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Postal Inspection Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert Lewis and Karen Schommer.

This law enforcement action is in part sponsored by the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. The task force was established to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. It includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and, with state and local partners, investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

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