NEW YORK, March 19 (Reuters) - A former executive at a New York mortgage lender was sentenced to more than eight years in prison on Thursday after pleading guilty to defrauding Fannie Mae FNM.N in a $44 million home refinancing scheme.
Leib Pinter, 64, was also ordered to pay more than $43 million in restitution. Prosecutors say that Pinter’s scheme left Fannie Mae holding about that amount in unpaid principal of refinanced mortgage loans through his scheme.
The sentence was handed down by U.S. District Judge Sandra Townes in Brooklyn, the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of New York said in a statement.
A lawyer for Pinter was not immediately available for comment.
Pinter, a former executive of Brooklyn mortgage lender Olympia Mortgage Corp, pleaded guilty in September 2008 to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
His firm originated and serviced home loans owned by Fannie Mae. Prosecutors said in court papers when the case was filed last year that when Olympia refinanced a Fannie Mae loan, Fannie typically wired the money to an Olympia bank account.
Olympia was then required to pay off the underlying mortgage loan by sending the outstanding balance to Fannie. But instead, prosecutors said, Pinter misappropriated the proceeds to pay his company’s operating expenses and to enrich himself.
Another former Olympia executive, Barry Goldstein, pleaded guilty to conspiracy and bank fraud in January, according to court records.
Prosecutors said Goldstein committed fraud in connection with Olympia’s sale of a portfolio of mortgage loans to Credit Suisse Group AG CSGN.VX affiliate Credit Suisse First Boston using falsified loan histories. Goldstein is awaiting sentencing. (Reporting by Martha Graybow, editing by Gerald E. McCormick)