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Dorchester real-estate broker ordered to repay $4.1 million earned in condo-flipping scheme

Joan Ruggiero, 78, was sentenced to nine months in federal prison and ordered to repay $4.1 million in fees she earned in fraudulent condo deals, the US Attorney's office in Boston announced today.

She's the latest broker or lawyer to be sentenced for their roles in various real-estate frauds in Dorchester and Roxbury as the economy fell apart in 2007 and 2008.

Ruggiero pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy for the scheme, in which she and another broker bought multi-family buildings on Wayland, Rill and St. Marks streets, then signed up "buyers" for the units and submitted bogus financial information to lenders. Ruggiero and the other broker would pocket the money wired by the lenders, then the "buyers" would disappear, leaving the lenders out the cost of the units.

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She isn't by any chance related to Joseph Ruggiero is she.....(Capo in the New England Mob)....

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here in JP. No idea about the mob ties but those were some tough guys.

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Lots more where she came from.

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At what point will the bankers and mortgage brokers be held liable? When the same Dorchester condo is flipped multiple times or listed as a "vacation" home the money people are willfully ignoring the fraud. Henry Street in Dorchester is a prime example. The entire street was ruined.

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For real? Banks' fault? Do you get it that the bank lost the money it lent? You think the banks wanted to be ripped off? That's absurd. They were hoodwinked by this scamming criminal.

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then the "buyers" would disappear, leaving the lenders out the cost of the units.

If I read that right, it sounds like the money people are the ones that got screwed.

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She has to repay the lenders.

That's been a common theme in all the Dorchester condo-flipping cases, well, at least the ones I've written about: Local brokers/lawyers would recruit people to act as sham buyers to screw lenders (usually located out of state) out of either fees or complete mortgage payments. The sham buyers would get a fee for their services, then disappear, leaving the lenders out their money and/or holding the deeds to properties that were really worth a lot less than the "buyers" had allegedly paid for them.

In all the cases I've seen, the feds seem to know who the "buyers" were, but they've never prosecuted any of them (because the amounts they made were so small?).

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I really don't think 10 grand is a small amount of $$$$ and none of these could have been completed WITHOUT A BUYER!!! The buyers are the most important KEY without them the whole thing is at 0

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The lenders rely on the attys, brokers and appraisers who bring the deal to them. There was a lot of fraud at the end and the only people getting caught are the most blatant scammers.

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I think the right people got dinged here. Sad that it took 8 years, though.

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LMAO. Weren't the banks/lending companies also guilty greedy participants? You mean these educated lenders could not see the tree from the forest or were their eyes clouded with the fees earned from each mortgage reviewed, approved, and finally signed off of in order to close the buy and reap the fees? When will their names and the names of the complaining straw buyers be listed and when will their illegal activity of knowingly becoming a straw buyer be addressed? Don't blind side yourselves, they were paid, they were rewarded and they lost their fine credit for a price. They signed, sealed, and delivered their personal information but their feet will be free from the fire of justice.

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