TRENTON, N.J. (AP) — A New Jersey father and his adult son have received state prison terms for stealing more than $1.3 million in a scheme that offered relief for homeowners facing foreclosure.
Fifty-eight-year-old Vito Grippo of Jackson got a 10-year sentence Friday, while 32-year-old Frederick Grippo of Old Bridge received a four-year term. Both had pleaded guilty earlier this year to theft charges, while the elder Grippo also admitted to money laundering.
The sentencing came a week after both men received federal prison terms for their crimes, sentences that will run concurrently to their state terms. In federal court, Vito Grippo was sentenced to 96 months while his son got a 41-month term.
State authorities say Vito Grippo solicited 12 homeowners facing foreclosure by offering to temporarily transfer title of their home to a private company. He told them they would keep 80 percent to 90 percent interest in the home, while the company would share the rest.
He told them to make their monthly mortgage payments to the company, which would pay the lender. This would reduce their payments over time and give them back title to their homes in a year, Vito Grippo told his victims.
Grippo also solicited investors who didn’t know they were buying the homes outright; they thought they were investing in income-generating rental properties. He used the investors’ identities to file fraudulent mortgage applications to buy the homes.
Frederick Grippo, a loan broker, submitted fraudulent applications.
Vito Grippo obtained more than $4.5 million to purchase 12 homes in New Jersey and New York and stole more than $1.3 million in loan proceeds. And although he made some mortgage payments in the investors’ names, all the homes fell into foreclosure
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