Former New Jersey councilman gets 5 years for $13 million mortgage fraud

A former councilman and failed mayoral candidate for the city of Kearney, New Jersey will spend the next five years in prison after pleading guilty for his role in a  $13 million mortgage fraud scam that involved using straw buyers to buy condominiums from financially distressed developers.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the District of New Jersey, John Leadbeater, 59, received a sentence of 60 months for conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

Per documents filed in this case and statements made in court, Leadbeater and several conspirators identified condos in Wildwood and Wildwood Crest, New Jersey that were “overbuilt” by developers, and then recruited straw buyers from New Jersey, New York, Ohio, Arkansas, and California, to purchase those properties.

According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, those straw buyers had good credit scores, but lacked the financial resources to qualify for the mortgage loans.

Read on.

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