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Valley Focus | Valleywide

Man Gets Five Years for Fraud Scheme

January 15, 1998|TOM BECKER

A former San Fernando Valley resident was sentenced to more than five years in federal prison after he was convicted in a scheme to fraudulently obtain more than $2 million in mortgage loans to purchase three Valley homes.

Stuart Rosenberg, 55, now a Las Vegas resident, masterminded a sophisticated scheme in which he made false statements on loan applications, sometimes forging another person's name and Social Security number, and inflated the purchase price of homes. Once the bank loaned him the money, Rosenberg would pay the seller and pocket the difference--between $100,000 and $200,000 a home--according to the U.S. Attorney's Office.

Rosenberg was convicted in March on two counts of making false statements on a loan application, two counts of bank fraud and two counts of money laundering. On Tuesday, he received two 24-month sentences for the false statement charges to be served concurrent with a 64-month sentence for the fraud and money laundering convictions. U.S. District Judge J. Spencer Letts also ordered Rosenberg to pay nearly $53,000 in restitution to Glendale Federal Bank and more than $7,000 in restitution to American Savings Bank. In total, losses suffered by the banks topped $2 million.

"It was a very sophisticated crime," said Assistant U.S. Atty. Harriet Rolnick, a prosecutor on the case.

Rosenberg was convicted for using the scheme from 1988 to 1991 to purchase homes in Woodland Hills, Encino and Tarzana, although prosecutors suspect he used similar methods to purchase several other homes throughout the Valley, Rolnick said.

Rosenberg was arrested after a joint investigation by the U.S. Secret Service and the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation Division.

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