On March 8, a U.S. District Court Judge sentenced a New Jersey lawyer to a four year prison term for participating in a mortgage fraud scheme that tricked lenders into releasing $40.8 million based on fraudulent loan applications. The investigation, led by the District of New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office, concluded that the defendant and his co-conspirators created false documents to help “straw buyers”—“people with good credit scores but lacking the financial resources to qualify for mortgage loans”—appear more creditworthy so they could purchase properties. The defendant then falsified mortgage loan applications and supporting documents, submitted the paperwork to mortgage lenders, and laundered a portion of the loan proceeds through accounts controlled by the defendant and co-conspirators. In addition to the prison term, the defendant was sentenced to three years of supervised release, ordered to pay restitution of over $13.1 million and required to forfeit over $2.41 million of fraudulent proceeds.