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Press Release
Former Stamford, N.Y. Mortgage Broker Arrested for Falsifying Documents to Obtain Loans
State Banking Department, Police and Delaware District Attorney’s Office Join Forces to Investigate and Prosecute Mortgage Fraud Case

May 27, 2010

Delhi, N.Y.: Richard H. Neiman, Superintendent of Banks for the New York State, along with Richard D.  Northrup Jr., District Attorney for Delaware County and the New York State Police, announced today the unsealing of a 12-count indictment charging John A. Sanzone Sr. The indictment follows a complex two-year mortgage fraud investigation conducted jointly by the New York State Banking Department’s Criminal Investigations Bureau and the New York State Police’s Bureau of Criminal Investigation.

Sanzone, of Saratoga Springs, N.Y., is a former mortgage broker and was the owner of Catskill Mortgage, a mortgage brokerage firm that operated in Stamford, New York until September 2008. The indictment charges Sanzone with abusing his position as a mortgage broker in order to obtain mortgages using false and altered documents between January 2007 and July 2007, including using false documentation to obtain a loan for himself. Without Sanzone producing these documents the homeowners would not have been able to qualify for these specific loans.

"Since becoming Superintendent in 2007, I have made combating mortgage fraud across New York State a top priority of the Banking Department. As this case demonstrates, our Criminal Investigations Bureau is committed to investigating the gatekeepers that have taken advantage of their positions for their own personal financial gain – this includes assisting local prosecutor’s offices that might otherwise not have the resources to take on such large scale investigations and prosecutions,” said Mr. Neiman.   

“This case should serve as a warning to those industry insiders that abuse their positions that you will be caught and prosecuted to the fullest extent of the law – no matter what county you work in New York State." 

Gia Morris, Assistant Director for the Criminal Investigations Bureau at the New York State Banking Department, has been appointed as an assistant district attorney with respect to this matter and conducted the investigation with the assistance of Bank Examiner Jack Massaro and New York State Police Investigator Michael MacInerney.  Ms. Morris will be prosecuting the case against Sanzone, under the supervision of the Delaware County District Attorney.

Sanzone is charged with three counts each of grand larceny in the second degree, forgery in the second degree, criminal possession of a forged instrument in the second degree, and falsifying business records in the first degree.

An indictment is an accusation.  A defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

The New York State Banking Department is the regulator for all state-chartered banking institutions, virtually all of the United States offices of international banking institutions, all of the State’s mortgage brokers, mortgage bankers, check cashers, money transmitters and budget planners. The aggregate assets of the depository institutions supervised by the Banking Department are more than $2.4 trillion.

In addition to regulating banking institutions, the Banking Department is active in informing and educating all New Yorkers on banking matters. To contact the Banking Department, please call 1-877-BANK-NYS or visit our Web site at www.dfs.ny.gov.

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