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SOUTH HAMILTON MAN CHARGED IN CONSPIRACY TO DEFRAUD COMFED SAVINGS BANK AT CHANCERY COURT IN LYNN, MASS.

 BOSTON, March 2 /PRNewswire/ -- A. John Pappalardo, United States Attorney for the District of Massachusetts, and Margaret R. Hinkle, Director of the New England Bank Fraud Task Force, announced today that Harvey R. Sobelman, age 39, of South Hamilton, Mass., was charged by information with conspiracy to commit bank fraud and false statements. The information charges a scheme that employed hidden second mortgages and inflated purchase prices at Chancery Court in Lynn, Massachusetts, to allow unqualified borrowers to obtain loans from the now defunct ComFed Savings Bank.
 The information charges that from May 1988 through at least November 1988, Sobelman and his co-conspirators carried out a scheme to deceive ComFed into believing that buyers of condominium units at Chancery Court had made down payments of at least 20 percent of the purchase price, when they had not. According to the information, Sobelman and his co-conspirators transmitted to ComFed purchase and sale agreements that falsely stated that the purchase price was substantially greater than it was, and that the buyers had made large down payments. As part of the conspiracy, Sobelman and his co-conspirators concealed from ComFed amendments to the purchase and sale agreements, which reduced the purchase price and which eliminated or substantially reduced the buyer's down payment. ComFed Savings Bank, once one of the largest residential mortgage lenders in Massachusetts, failed in December, 1990.
 If convicted, Sobelman faces a maximum sentence of five years' imprisonment and a fine of $250,000.
 The charges brought today are part of a continuing investigation being conducted by the New England Bank Fraud Task Force. The Task Force was established in 1991 as part of the Justice Department's ongoing campaign to combat fraud against federally insured financial institutions. Members of the Task Force include the United States Attorneys' Offices for each of the six New England states, the Fraud Section of the Department's Criminal Division, the Civil and Tax Divisions, the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service, and the Secret Service.
 The case was investigated by Special Agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by James P. Gillis, a trial attorney assigned to the New England Bank Fraud Task Force.
 -0- 3/2/93
 /CONTACT: Press Officer at U.S. Attorney's Office, 617-223-4025/


CO: U.S. Attorney's Office ST: Massachusetts IN: SU:

TM -- NE006 -- 1876 03/02/93 10:40 EST
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Date:Mar 2, 1993
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