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AHH 24-Hr. News

IMAGE Oceanic Bridge Maintenance Work to Begin Monday, Feb. 2
Friday, 30 January 2015
Photo: Oceanic Bridge. credit: goboatingnj.org   MIDDLETOWN, NJ – The Oceanic Bridge (S-31) over the NavesinkRiver will undergo repair work to the structural steel and concrete deck beginning on or about 9 a.m. Monday, Feb. 2. To complete the... Read More...
IMAGE Brookdale Board Approves 3.4 Percent Tuition Increase
Friday, 30 January 2015
LINCROFT, NJ – The Brookdale Community College Board of Trustees voted on Jan. 29 to approve a 3.4 percent tuition increase at the college for the 2015-16 school year. For a full-time student taking 30 credits per year, the change would mean an... Read More...
IMAGE Attempted Abduction of 11-Year-Old Girl in Highlands
Friday, 30 January 2015
IMAGE: Google Street View. HIGHLANDS, NJ - A Highlands mother reports that her daughter was approached by an older man in a black SUV in the vicinity of Welsh Farms on Bay Avenue in the borough this afternoon around 3:15 p.m. The girl was asked to... Read More...
AAA Reminds Motorists: Be the Ref of the Party - Designate a Driver
Friday, 30 January 2015
Hamilton, NJ – This Sunday, Super Bowl XLIX will kick off in Arizona, but closer to home, people will gather to watch the game with family and friends. AAA urges fans to prepare for the big game by designating a sober driver or arranging for... Read More...
IMAGE MC Park System Offers 2015 Trails Team Training
Friday, 30 January 2015
PHOTO: The Monmouth County Park System’s Volunteer Trails Team in action.  LINCROFT, NJ — Love the Monmouth County Park System’s 130+ miles of trails and interested in becoming part of the Park System’s Trails Team? Head to the... Read More...

Columns

IMAGE Observations on a MLK Celebration
by George Hancock-Stefan
Friday, 30 January 2015
On Monday, January 19, 2015 I went to a service honoring Martin Luther King, Jr. I went for multiple reasons. I went to honor a great American and... Read More...
IMAGE Worst Storm Ever? (What’s up widat?)
by Woody Zimmerman
Thursday, 29 January 2015
Somehow – no doubt largely due to the vigilance and timely warnings supplied by our political and media guardians – we have managed to survive... Read More...
IMAGE Review - Into The Woods
by David Prown
Wednesday, 28 January 2015
I saw the Broadway version of "Into the Woods" in the 80's with Bernadette Peters just a few days after I saw "Les Miserables" with the original... Read More...
IMAGE Protest This Super Bowl Commercial
by Anne Mikolay
Tuesday, 27 January 2015
Sunday, February 1, the New England Patriots will face off against the Seattle Seahawks in NFL Super Bowl XLIX. Football fans will tune in to see the... Read More...
IMAGE What’s that Flock in the Bay?
by Joe Reynolds
Sunday, 25 January 2015
This was a week of counting wintering water-birds. The other day I looked out onto New York Harbor and saw a large raft of diving ducks. I counted at... Read More...

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.