Jury Convicts 2 In Mortgage Scam

Paul Bass File PhotoThomas MacMillan File PhotoA 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.

Paul Bass File PhotoThe 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

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posted by: Dwightstreeter on April 22, 2014  1:44pm

The co-conspirator testified in hopes of cutting his time from 30 years to zero? I hope he was overly optimistic.

When do the prosecutors get to the Wall st. crowd? Or are they still too big to fail?

posted by: jim1 on April 23, 2014  8:35am

Now lets see the man in charge gets to walk to rat out the others.

This just shows how bad the system is.

Lock him up. You can’t take 1 million $$ and still walk.

Please tell me this not going to happen..!!!!