The ringleader of a US$2 million mortgage scam targeting members of New York’s Guyanese community was sentenced to up to 12 years in prison on Wednesday, the New York Daily News has reported.
Roger Huggins, 36, had pleaded guilty to a grand larceny charge in November for duping desperate homeowners into turning over the title to their homes so he could take out inflated mortgages and pocket the proceeds.
According to the report, Queens prosecutors have stated that the four-year scheme defrauded homeowners and lending institutions of US$2 million in equity stripped from properties valued at US$8 million.
Queens Supreme Court Justice Joel Blumenfeld sentenced Huggins to four to 12 years in prison.
“In unjustly enriching himself and his accomplices of millions of dollars, the defendant created a human tragedy of immense proportions for the homeowners who had turned to him in desperate hope of saving their homes from foreclosure,” Queens District Attorney Richard Brown said in the report.
Huggins’ Richmond Hill company targeted homeowners in Brooklyn, Queens and the Bronx.