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U.S. Department of Justice Accuses a Top Loan Officer of Being Involved in a Mortgage Fraud Scheme

DOJ charges one of America’s top LOs in alleged mortgage fraud scheme

Two former New Jersey-based mortgage loan originators, Christopher Gallo and Mehmet Elmas, have been charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud by the U.S. Attorney’s Office, District of New Jersey. Gallo, previously recognized as a top-producing loan originator, worked for NJ Lenders Corp, primarily operating in New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania. Gallo had shared his business strategy for 2023 with HousingWire, reflecting on challenges faced in 2022.

The complaint filed alleges that Gallo and Elmas conspired and engaged in a fraudulent scheme from 2018 through October 2023. They allegedly falsified loan origination documents to obtain mortgage loans fraudulently. The scheme involved misleading mortgage lenders about the intended use of properties to secure lower mortgage interest rates. They frequently submitted loan applications falsely stating that listed borrowers were primary residents of properties intended for rental or investment purposes.


DOJ (Credits: FOX 59)

Gallo and Elmas were released on a $200,000 bond after appearing before a magistrate judge in Newark federal court. According to the U.S. Department of Justice (DOJ), the alleged conspiracy also included falsifying property records and financial information of prospective borrowers to facilitate mortgage loan approval.

NJ Lenders Corp stated that they are cooperating with law enforcement as the investigation progresses. They emphasized their 33-year history of assisting homeowners with integrity and professionalism and expressed their commitment to continuing uninterrupted service to clients. Gallo, who originated over $1.4 billion in loans between 2018 and October 2023, joined CrossCountry Mortgage in October 2023.

The charge of conspiracy to commit bank fraud carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, or twice the gross gain or loss from the offense, as per the DOJ. Gallo’s webpage at CrossCountry Mortgage was taken down, and the lender did not immediately respond to requests for comment.

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