- Associated Press - Tuesday, April 22, 2014

NEWARK, N.J. (AP) - A central New Jersey man has admitted his role in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme that caused millions of dollars in losses.

Federal prosecutors say 71-year-old Delio Coutinho of Colonia pleaded guilty Tuesday to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He now faces up to 30 years in prison when he’s sentenced.

The fraud occurred from March 2008 through June 2012.

The defendants conspired with themselves and others to release liens on encumbered properties via fraudulently arranged short sale transactions. This allowed them to profit from new fraudulent mortgage loans obtained on the properties from other mortgage lenders.

To complete the sales, the defendants submitted false closing and other documents to mortgage lenders.

Prosecutors say Coutinho was a loan officer at a north Jersey mortgage brokerage company who submitted false documents.

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