Lehigh Valley

Former employees of Madison Funding Inc. charged in mortgage fraud conspiracy

Seven indicted in federal fraud case

PHILADELPHIA - The former general manager and five former employees of a now-defunct mortgage company in Allentown have been indicted on federal charges.

The allegations against Madison Funding Inc. center around a conspiracy that caused mortgage lending businesses to issue millions of dollars' worth of loans that were based on false information, according the indictment, which was announced Wednesday by U.S. Attorney Zane David Memeger in Philadelphia.

All six defendants were charged with conspiracy to commit fraud and related crimes. 

They were identified as Joel Tillett, 36, of Whitehall Twp., Lehigh Co., who was the general manager; loan officers Jason Boggs, 35, who was also a branch manager, and Claribel Gonzalez, 42; loan processors Florentina Peralta, 33, Ghovanna Gonzalez, 34, all of Allentown, and Angela Diaz, 35, of Bethlehem. 

A seventh former employee, Denise Peralta, 32, of Allentown, was charged with one count of making a false report to the Department of Housing and Urban Development. 

Between October 2006 and at least June 2008, the defendants conspired to defraud mortgage lenders by submitting loan applications that contained false information about the borrowers, which was often supported by falsified, forged, and altered documents, according to the indictment.

The mortgage lenders, officials said, relied on the false information in providing Madison Funding's clients with millions of dollars in loans to buy real estate. Each funded loan generated thousands of dollars' worth of commissions for Madison Funding and its employees. 

Boggs and Claribel Gonzalez also helped clients apply for loans to buy multiple properties while falsely indicating on each application that they would be the primary residence of the loan applicant, according to the indictment. 

Claribel Gonzalez and Florentina Peralta left the Madison Funding branch run by Tillett in 2007 and opened a new branch of Madison Funding, where they engaged in similar crimes, officials said.

Gonzalez and Peralta were also charged with committing bank fraud in connection with a personal mortgage loan for Gonzalez.

If convicted of all charges, in addition to possible restitution, the defendants face the following possible sentences:

Joel Tillett and Angela Diaz: a maximum of seven years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $500,000 fine, and a $200 special assessment; 

Jason Boggs: a maximum of 11 years in prison, three years of supervised release, a $1 million fine, and a $400 special assessment;

Claribel Gonzalez: a maximum of 40 years in prison, five years of supervised release, a $1.5 million fine, and a $300 special assessment;

Florentina Peralta: a maximum of 52 years in prison, five years of supervised release, a $3 million fine, and a $900 special assessment; 

Ghovanna Gonzalez: a maximum of nine years in prison, a three year period of supervised release, a $750,000 fine, and a $400 special assessment;

Denise Peralta: a maximum of one year in prison, one year of supervised release, a $1,000 fine, and a $25 special assessment.

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Allentown, PA 18102




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