Mortgage broker gets 2 years in prison in fraud scheme

Bethesda man defrauded lenders, family and others of more than $1.4 million

January 12, 2012|The Baltimore Sun

A Bethesda man was sentenced Thursday to 33 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release for two counts of mail fraud connected to a mortgage scheme that defrauded lenders, family members and others, the Maryland U.S. Attorney's Office reported.

Douglas Skibicki, 42, was also ordered to forfeit $1.4 million and to pay restitution to the victims; the exact amount will be determined at a later date, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

Skibicki, a mortgage originator for a firm based in Laurel, admitted that from April 2006 to August 2009 he defrauded people through a series of real estate transactions, according to his plea agreement. He was assisted by others, including an appraiser who died before charges could be filed against him, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

In the case of one property, a vacant lot in Elkridge that he owned with a family member, Skibicki in June 2006 filed a loan application for $350,000 to refinance the property. His appraiser prepared a fraudulent appraisal, including photographs, that indicated there was a 2,040-square-foot house on the property.

In August 2007, when the Elkridge site remained a vacant lot, Skibicki refinanced the property again, submitting an application to a bank seeking $517,500, with title to the property only in Skibicki's name. This time his appraiser stated that a 3,297-square-foot, five-bedroom home sat on the land and provided photographs of a house that existed elsewhere.

Skibicki let the mortgage on the Elkridge property go into default, which led to foreclosure proceedings.

Skibicki admitted that he made misrepresentations to other lenders to get mortgages on additional properties, the U.S. Attorney's Office said.

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