SYRACUSE, N.Y. – Five people have been indicted in connection to what prosecutors are calling an elaborate mortgage fraud ring.
The state Attorney General's office says the suspects netted more than a million dollars. According to prosecutors, suspects bought dilapidated homes and had them over-appraised. The ring would then refinance the homes and would sell them to buyers for the extra amount, claiming they were underlying mortgages. Suspects would then pocket the extra cash.
Theresa Sanders, 55, from Ohio, and Tracie Clark, 41, from Florida, face residential mortgage fraud in the second degree, multiple counts of grand larceny, scheme to defraud and falsifying business records.
Michelle Powers, 51, from DeRuyter, Steven Essig, 60, and Paul Sakowski, 44, both from Syracuse, were also charged in the indictment.
If convicted, the defendants could face up to 20 years in prison.