It’s nearly witching hour in Salem and one developer on the losing end of a trial is going to have plenty of time in the clink to reflect.
George Kritopoulos was sentenced to four years in prison for his role in a decade-long mortgage scheme, according to the Justice Department. The 50-year-old developer will also have two years of supervised release following the prison sentence.
Kritopoulos was convicted of conspiracy, wire fraud, bank fraud, obstruction of justice and aiding preparation of a false income tax return. The Salem News reported he and two others were charged roughly four years ago; the other defendants will be sentenced in December.
Kritopoulos’ lawyers reportedly attempted to convince the judge that the aftereffects of gastric bypass surgery and a metabolic condition warranted a home confinement sentence. The prosecutors, meanwhile, wanted seven years and said the developer hadn’t taken responsibility for his actions.
The developer and two others engaged in a scheme from 2006 to 2015. They defrauded banks and financial institutions by causing borrowers to submit false information.
Kritopoulos would bring borrowers to David Plunkett, who prepared tax returns containing false and inflated income. Some of those returns were submitted to lenders to support fraudulent loan applications.
Among 21 properties involved in the scheme, borrowers defaulted on loan payments at all but two, since they didn’t have the finances to repay the loans. That led to foreclosures and losses for lenders.
The scheme involved $6.5 million in loan transactions, leading to $3.8 million in losses for lenders.
Plunkett pleaded guilty to bank fraud and aiding in the submission of false tax returns. Another conspirator, Joseph Bates III, pleaded guilty to conspiracy, wire fraud affecting a financial institution and bank fraud.
The judge will also weigh a potential restitution order for the conspirators.
— Holden Walter-Warner