NEWARK, N.J. (AP) -- A loan officer involved in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme that caused millions of dollars in losses is now headed to prison.

Ryan McVay, ThinkStock

Federal prosecutors say 73-year-old Delio Coutinho, of Woodbridge, received a three-year sentence Tuesday. He also must pay more than $1.3 million in restitution.

Coutinho pleaded guilty in April 2014 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Prosecutors say Coutinho and other defendants conspired 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.

Coutinho was a loan officer at a northern New Jersey mortgage brokerage company who submitted false documents.

Overall, the conspirators obtained roughly $2 million in illegal mortgage proceeds.


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