A.G. Schneiderman Announces Arrest Of Former Schenectady Builder For Mortgage Fraud

Angelo Rossi Extradited From Florida On Felony Charges For Stealing Over $640K

Schneiderman: My Office Will Go After Unscrupulous Individuals And Bring Them To Justice

ALBANY - Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today announced the arrest and arraignment of Angelo Rossi, on 11 felony charges, stemming from a scheme to defraud the mortgage company Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., as well as two private lenders. Rossi is accused of stealing over $640,000 from November 2006 through 2007.

"Angelo Rossi forged documents and scammed businesses and individuals out of hundreds of thousands of dollars. He then left them high and dry by taking off to Florida," said Attorney General Schneiderman. "The message of this case is clear: my office will go after unscrupulous individuals and bring them to justice."

Rossi, 47, formerly the chairman and owner of Rossi Construction, Inc., resided in a home in the Town of Rotterdam where he also operated his business. Rossi Construction, Inc., also had an office on Guilderland Avenue, in the City of Schenectady. Rossi bought and sold real estate and built residential houses in the Capital Region.

Rossi is accused of engaging in mortgage fraud in which he stole over $500,000 from Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., by arranging two separate “straw purchases” of two lots on Hardin Road in the Schenectady County town of Duanesburg. In this “straw purchase” scheme, borrowers appear – on loan documents, deeds, and other records – to be purchasing the land and the dwelling, when in fact they are merely obtaining the funding for the builder. Rossi also allegedly forged borrowers’ signatures on six loan draw requests in order for him to obtain loan funds from Countrywide Home Loans, Inc., without the borrowers’ knowledge or authorization. Rossi is further accused of stealing over $135,000 from two private lenders.

Rossi was extradited from his residence in Port Richey, Florida Wednesday to answer the following charges filed by the Attorney General’s Office in the Schenectady City Court: Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, a class C felony, in violation of New York State Penal Law § 155.40(1) (four counts); Forgery in the Second Degree, a class D felony, in violation of New York State Penal Law § 170.10(1) (six counts); and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E felony, in violation of New York State Penal Law § 190.65(1)(a) (one count).

Rossi was arraigned on the charges by Schenectady City Court Judge Matthew Sypniewski last night after Rossi arrived from Florida, in the custody of investigators from the Attorney General’s Office. Rossi was subsequently sent to the Schenectady County jail to await further court proceedings.

Benjamin M. Lawsky, Superintendent of the Department of Financial Services, said: “I applaud Attorney General Schneiderman and his office for bringing this case and for all the work they do to aggressively fight mortgage fraud. The Department of Financial Services initially referred this case after uncovering evidence that the defendant was engaging in mortgage fraud through such activities as forging documents and drawing down funds from the bank accounts of other people. The Department looks forward to continuing to work with the Attorney General to help New Yorkers who have been victimized by mortgage fraud."  

Attorney General Schneiderman thanked the Department of Financial Services for its cooperation in this case.

The case is being handled by Assistant Attorney General Darren Miller, with the assistance of Investigator Mark Spencer, under the supervision of Stephen Maher, Deputy Bureau Chief of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau; Gail Heatherly, Bureau Chief of the Criminal Prosecutions Bureau; and Nancy Hoppock, the Executive Deputy Attorney General for Criminal Justice.

The joint investigation by the Attorney General and Department of Financial Services is ongoing. If you believe you were a victim of Angelo Rossi, and you wish to provide information to law enforcement, please contact Investigator Mark Spencer at the New York State Attorney General’s Office, at (518) 474-8686.

The charges against Angelo Rossi are merely accusations and he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.