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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Twin Lights Museum Establishes Millicent Mercer Johnsen Internship Program
Wednesday, 23 April 2014
Photo: Niels and Millicent Johnsen visit the Twin Lights in 2012 for the Historical Society’s Pledge of Allegiance rededication ceremony. The... Read More...
Sens. Menendez, Booker Announce $4.6M in FEMA Sandy Relief
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
NEWARK, NJ  – U.S. Senators Robert Menendez (D-NJ) and Cory Booker (D-NJ) today announced that the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)... Read More...
IMAGE Middletown Police Report - April 22, 2014
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Teresa Burger, age 34, from Buckingham Circle in Middletown, NJ, arrested on April 9, 2014 by Patrolman Lawrence Seymour on Contempt of Court... Read More...
IMAGE Over 70 Handbags Will Be Auctioned
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
“Power of the Purse” Fundraiser to Benefit Programs and Services for Children Red Bank, NJ -  Over 70 handbags have been donated to benefit... Read More...
IMAGE Become a Bird Monitor Volunteer - Training May 18
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
  PICTURED – Monitor and protect endangered birds with the Monmouth County Park System. LONG BRANCH, NJ —  Help the Monmouth County... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Earth Day: Big Deal!
by Anne Mikolay
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
Happy Earth Day, 2014! Earth Day, also known as International Mother Earth Day, is an annual event commemorated across the globe. First observed in... Read More...
IMAGE Racial Amnesia
by Woody Zimmerman
Tuesday, 22 April 2014
It’s becoming apparent that Democrats have run out of material to help them win policy-arguments with Republicans. Desperation has driven them to... Read More...
IMAGE Skewed View - April 20, 2014
by Tom Brennan
Sunday, 20 April 2014
If this won't get you a date to the prom I don't know what will, "KFC debuts chicken drumstick corsage"  :http://cnb.cx/Q6OvGh Your best friend,... Read More...
IMAGE Belief by Seeing and Not Seeing
by George Hancock-Stefan
Sunday, 20 April 2014
In the Day of Resurrection, there is a wide range in how people encounter Jesus. Mary Magdalene encounters the Risen Lord when He pronounces her... Read More...
IMAGE Luongo Has Miracle Surgery
by Daniel J. Vance
Sunday, 20 April 2014
On Good Friday 2013, then 39-year-old Nicole Luongo of Plantation, Florida, took a step of faith. She'd had cerebral palsy since birth, had... Read More...

Upcoming Events

Thu Apr 24 @ 9:00AM - 11:00AM
Middletown Mayor Open Office Hours
Thu Apr 24 @ 3:15PM - 04:30PM
Children's Programs
Sat Apr 26 @10:00AM - 03:00PM
Vendor Fair
Sat Apr 26 @ 2:00PM - 04:00PM
Voices of Spring - A Cappella Concert
Sun Apr 27 @ 8:00AM - 01:00PM
Pancake Breakfast Fundraiser for Assistant Scout Leader Joseph Steiger

NEWARK, NJ —A Middlesex County, New Jersey man today admitted his part in a phony foreclosure rescue scheme that was part of a $4.4 million mortgage fraud, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced.

Frederick “Freddie” Grippo, 32, of Old Bridge, New Jersey, formerly a loan officer at Worldwide Financial Resources and an officer of Vanick Holdings, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Kevin McNulty in Newark federal court to an information charging him with one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court:

Between January 2008 and February 2010, a co-conspirator of Grippo was the president of Morgan Financial Equity Shares and Vanick Holdings, both based in Holmdel, New Jersey. Morgan Financial was held out to the public as a company that could help homeowners in financial distress who faced foreclosure on their homes through something called the “Equity Share Program.” As described by Morgan Financial and its president, the Equity Share Program involved creating a limited liability company in the name of the homeowner’s house in which the homeowner would supposedly own a 90 percent interest, with the rest to be owned by one or two private investors.

In reality, the so-called investors invested nothing and were instead straw buyers recruited by Grippo or his co-conspirator because they had good credit. Grippo and his associates then made out mortgage loan applications in the names of the phony investors for the purchase of the distressed properties. A homeowner in distress would come to a closing at the Morgan Financial office in Holmdel at which he or she would be given a stack of documents to sign that the homeowner thought would prevent foreclosure, but which actually transferred title to the investor. The new mortgage loan applications filled out in the name of the investor by Grippo or his associates contained materially false information about the loan applicant’s monthly income, his assets, and whether the residence to be “bought” would be his primary residence.

Once the new loan application was filled out, it would be submitted to Worldwide Financial Resources for processing, and Grippo, a loan officer at Worldwide, would see to it that the loan was approved. Once the loan was approved and the loan money was wired to the settlement agent for a given transaction, Grippo’s co-conspirator would direct the settlement agent to forward a portion of those loan proceeds to bank accounts that the co-conspirator controlled.

The scheme succeeded in obtaining $4.4 million in mortgage loans. Properties whose original owners fell victim to the Equity Share Program are located throughout the metropolitan area, including in Rutherford, New Jersey; Monroe, New Jersey; and Brooklyn, New York.

The conspiracy charge to which Grippo pleaded guilty carries a maximum potential penalty of 30 years in prison and a maximum fine of $1,000,000. Sentencing is scheduled for March 6. 2013.

U.S. Attorney Fishman credited special agents from the FBI’s Red Bank Resident Agency, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Michael B. Ward in Newark; and special agents from IRS-Criminal Investigation, under the direction of Acting Special Agent in Charge Shantelle P. Kitchen, for the investigation leading to today’s guilty plea.

The government is represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Bohdan Vitvitsky of the U.S. Attorney’s Office Economic Crimes Unit in Newark.