– Attorney General Anne Milgram announced
today the indictment of six people charged
in three separate, unrelated mortgage fraud
cases, including two women charged with spearheading
a conspiracy to use stolen identities to obtain
more than $1 million in unauthorized mortgages,
lines of credit and credit cards.
conduct charged in these indictments is unconscionable.
It is the kind of greed-driven fraud that
is harmful not only to those who were directly
victimized but, ultimately, to consumers and
legitimate businesses throughout the industry.
We are committed to identifying, investigating
and prosecuting this type of crime,”
in a 17-count State grand jury indictment
with conspiracy, eight counts of theft by
deception, seven counts of identity theft
and one count of money laundering are Yi Feng
Reid, 48, of Closter, Bergen county, and Yu
Jane Chen, 42, whose last known address was
Charged in the same indictment with one count
each of conspiracy, theft by deception and
identity theft are George Liu, 33, and Ji
Gang Chen, 53. Both men once lived in New
York, and now reside in China.
to Division of Criminal Justice Director Deborah
Gramiccioni, defendants Reid and Yu Jane Chen
both were involved in the mortgage and small
business loan industry in the Bergen County
area, and unlawfully used the identities of
other people to obtain mortgages, other types
of loans and unauthorized credit card accounts
from 2004 through mid-2007.
Gramiccioni said some victims of the alleged
identity theft gave Reid and Yu Jane Chen
their personal and financial information in
the process of seeking, and ultimately obtaining,
a loan. In other cases, victims provided their
personal information while beginning the loan
process, then changed their minds and elected
not to seek a loan.
who provided Reid and Yu Jane Chen with identifying
information later learned their names had
been used to secure unauthorized mortgages,
loans and credit cards.
and Yu Jane Chen are accused of being the
principal co-conspirators. With their help,
co-defendant George Liu allegedly obtained
two mortgages on a family member’s house
totaling $314,000 by using that relative’s
identity, along with false tax returns and
phony employment information. Co-defendant
Ji Gang Chen, also assisted by Reid and Yu
Jane Chen, allegedly obtained four mortgages
on a family member’s house totaling
$446,000 by using the family member’s
identity, as well as false employment and
all, the four defendants are charged with
obtaining seven mortgages totaling $850,000
by using stolen identities and false information.
In addition, 13 bank-approved loans and credit
accounts worth a total of more than $300,000
were opened using stolen identities. Numerous
banks in Pennsylvania, New Jersey and New
York were defrauded.
Among other things, Reid and Yu Jane Chen
allegedly used checks, credit card transactions
and cash proceeds from their unlawfully-obtained
accounts to make ATM withdrawals, and to buy
goods at supermarkets, gas stations, toy stores,
jewelry stores and other retail outlets. Other
credit and cash proceeds were allegedly used
to pay for ponies to entertain Reid’s
child, to pay Reid’s nanny, to pay for
the EZ Pass account of a Reid family member
and to pay the expenses of Reid-operated businesses.
Yu Jane Chen allegedly used credit and cash
proceeds to make a variety of jewelry purchases,
and to pay the expenses of several businesses
in which she was involved. Thousands of dollars
also went to pay a spiritual adviser shared
by both Reid and Yu Jane Chen. In some cases,
proceeds from the unauthorized loans were
used to make payments on other fraudulently-obtained
offenses charged in the Reid/Yu Jane Chen
indictment are second-degree.
an unrelated indictment, commercial loan broker
Ramon Coscolluela, 30, of Union, was charged
by a State grand jury with one count each
of theft by deception (second degree) and
attempted theft by deception (second degree).
Coscolluela, owner of Templar Group LLC of
Newark, allegedly falsified five loan applications
submitted to Commerce Bank in 2007 and 2008
on behalf clients who paid him fees ranging
from $1,000 to $6,000.
Four of the loan applications were rejected,
but a fifth loan request for $100,000 was
granted. When the borrower defaulted on the
loan, it prompted a bank review of the other
four applications Coscolluela had submitted.
Each of the applications was allegedly found
to contain inflated or false information not
supplied by Coscolluela’s clients. Applications
submitted by Coscolluela on behalf of his
clients typically contained false information
about the liquid assets they possessed, the
value of their homes and/or the net worth
of their businesses.
clients were never refunded the fees he charged
a third mortgage-fraud indictment, Terrance
Givens, 32, of East Orange, was charged with
one count of theft by deception (second degree.)
to Criminal Justice Director Grammicioni,
Givens lied about his employment history on
a mortgage application in 2005. Specifically,
he falsely listed his employer as Wall Designs,
Inc. of Newark, a business founded by a relative
that, for all intents and purposes, never
In addition to misrepresenting his employment
history to the New Century Mortgage Company,
Givens allegedly submitted false W-2 forms
for the years 2002, 2003 and 2004 showing
annual wages of between $67,000 and $72,000.
On the basis of the false information he provided,
Givens was approved for, and received, a $200,000
mortgage loan which subsequently went into
indictment is merely an accusation. All defendants
are presumed innocent until proven guilty.
Second-degree crimes carry a penalty of between
five-and-10 years in prison and fines ranging
from $150,000-to-$500,000 per offense.