A former corrections officer and an aggressive loan officer now face decades in federal prison, after a man who orchestrated a poverty real-estate scam helped the government convict his alleged accomplices.
A federal jury on Friday found mortgage officer Andrew Constantinou (at left) and Jacques Kelley, a late-night infomercial-watching former Westchester corrections officer (pictured above) who dreamed of getting rich quick in real estate, guilty of their roles as mid-level players in a mortgage fraud scheme in struggling New Haven neighborhoods.
Following a three-week trial before Chief U.S. District Judge Janet C. Hall in New Haven, a jury found both men guilty of conspiracy to commit mail, wire, and bank fraud. The jury also found Kelly guilty of one count of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to a financial institution, according to Matthew Reilly, spokesman for the New Jersey U.S. Attorney’s Office, which has been overseeing the case because of the recusal of the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of Connecticut.
The case hinged on the testimony of star witness Joseph Menachem “Yossi” Levitin (pictured), who has pleaded guilty to pocketing up to $1 million in the scam. Levitin took the stand, hoping to cut his time behind bars from 30 years to zero by helping the government’s case.
Constantinou now faces up to 30 years in prison at his sentencing, which is set for July 15. Kelly faces up to 80 years in prison at his sentencing, which is set for July 14. Both men are now free on bond.
Levitin is also awaiting sentencing; it remains to be seen whether his testimony will spare him from the slammer.
Previous articles about this case and a related New Haven mortgage-fraud case:
• Will White-Collar Crime Bring Jail Time?
• Facing 30 Years, Scammer Turns Star Witness
• Scammer, Awaiting Sentence, Rebuilds
• Patsies? Or Schemers?
• Fraud Defense: Banks Were The Real Crooks
• Kwame & Straw Buyer Leave Trail Of Blight
• 1 Mortgage Fraud Ring Down, Feds Turn To 2nd
• “Big Liberal” Gets 5 Years For Ripping Off Poor
• White-Collar Criminals Sent To Slammer
• Judge Baffled By Two Morris Olmers
• Feds Will Retry Avigdor
• 4 Convicted In Fraud Scam; Mistrial For Rabbi
• Jury Can’t Agree In Scam Trial
• Avigdor’s Final Plea: Follow The Money
• Claire: The Rabbi Is Kosher
• Wednesday The Rabbi Took The Stand
• Straw Buyer Lured Into A Wild Ride
• After Big Fish Plead, Smaller Fry Point Fingers
• Slum-Photo Doctor Makes A Call
• What Happened At Goodfellas Didn’t Stay At Goodfellas
• Fraud Trial Opens With Oz-Like Yarn
• “Partying” MySpacer Lined Up Scam Homebuyers
• “Straw Buyer” Pleads Guilty
• Neighbors, Taxpayers Left With The Tab
• FBI Arrests Police Commissioner, Slumlord, Rabbi
• One Last Gambit Falls Short
• Was He In “Custody”?
• Is Slum Landlord Helping The FBI?
• Feds Snag Poverty Landlord
• Police Commissioner Pleads
• Mortgage Fraud Mastermind Gets 10 Years