2 Ohio men plead guilty in huge mortgage fraud

December 21, 2011 - 6:05 PM

CLEVELAND (AP) — Authorities say two Ohio men have pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud crimes covering $50 million in real estate transactions, $44 million in fraudulent loans and $31 million in profits.

Prosecutors say Uri Gofman, Anthony Capuozzo and businesses they operated pleaded guilty Wednesday in Cleveland in what investigators call one of the nation's largest mortgage fraud cases.

Gofman is from Beachwood. He's accused of defrauding lenders by using straw buyers to purchase homes, claiming nonexistent or inflated home improvements to gain refinancing and selling to unqualified buyers. Prosecutors say he'll be sentenced to eight years and three months in prison.

Capuozzo is from Concord. He's accused of misleading lenders into believing buyers were making down payments. Prosecutors say he was sentenced to one year in prison.

Messages seeking comment from their attorneys haven't been returned.