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Second man sentenced in mortgage fraud conspiracy

By Staff | Jun 29, 2010

A Cape Coral man has received 15 months in federal prison for charges connected to a $4.2 million mortgage fraud conspiracy that involved the police chief’s son.
Ryan O’Brien, 34, pleaded guilty in March to one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud and one count of money laundering in a plea deal with federal prosecutors. On Monday, U.S. District Judge Charlene Honeywell sentenced him to 15 years for each count, to run concurrently.
Honeywell also sentenced O’Brien to 24 months of supervised release for each count and those will run concurrently, the U.S. Clerks Office reported.
Attorney Kevin Shirley, who represented O’Brien, said Honeywell’s decision was “very fair.”
“Obviously, she varied from the guidelines, but the guidelines are only suggestive to the federal judges,” he said. “The court felt the 15 months was an appropriate sanction.”
According to Shirley, the U.S. Attorney’s Office sought 31-37 months.
“That’s what the guideline sentence was,” he said.
The U.S. Attorney’s Office did not return a message seeking comment.
Shirley explained that O’Brien had no prior criminal history and was a contributing member to the community, factors that the judge likely took into consideration. O’Brien also expressed remorse about what happened.
“Obviously, he’s very remorseful over what has occurred,” he said. “The judge took that into consideration.”
According to court documents, O’Brien took part in a “cash-out” mortgage fraud conspiracy in the Cape with a group of individuals that included Stephen Petrovich, a former detective with the Cape police and the son of former Cape Police Chief Rob Petrovich. Former CCPD Sgt. James J. O’Brien was also charged.
The mortgage fraud scheme took place from 2007-08 and involved eight properties in the Cape, according to court documents. The group reported “inflated sales prices to lenders and falsified applications for loans based on the higher prices, then pocketed the excess loan proceeds at closing.”
O’Brien has a wife and two small children.
“My client is doing fine,” Shirley said. “He understands that he has an obligation to society that he needs to pay.”
O’Brien is the second person to be sentenced in connection to the mortgage fraud scheme. Steven Reese, 32, of Cape Coral faced the same charges and was sentenced on June 21 to 18 months for each count. The sentences will run concurrently, as will the 24 months of supervised release for each each one.
The others charged in the alleged conspiracy are:
— Stephen Petrovich, 35, of Cape Coral
— Tyler Forrey, 28, of Cape Coral
— Troy Bossert, 32, of San Antonio, Texas
— James J. O’Brien
Petrovich, Forrey and Bossert are each facing one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud and one count of money laundering. All three men have pleaded guilty under a plea deal with federal prosecutors.
According to the U.S. Clerk’s Office, Petrovich’s sentencing is scheduled for July 6 and Forrey is scheduled for July 26. Bossert’s sentencing is scheduled for July 19, but a motion to continue was filed on June 10. The judge had not ruled on the motion as of Tuesday.
According to court documents, the charges of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud and one count of money laundering carry a maximum sentence of 30 years in federal prison and fines up to $500,000.
James J. O’Brien is facing one count of loan and credit application fraud. He also pleaded guilty in a plea deal and is set for sentencing Aug. 9. The charge carries a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a fine up to $1 million.