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Weston Man Pleads Guilty to $600K Mortgage Fraud

Steven J. Kottage, 45, of Weston, pleaded guilty Thursday to two counts of conspiracy stemming from mortgage fraud schemes in which he and others defrauded Wells Fargo and Freddie Mac of more than $600,000, said David B. Fein, U.S. attorney for Connecticut.

Kottage faces a maximum term of 30 years in prison on each count and will be ordered to pay at least $616,547 in restitution. Kottage is in custody until his sentencing, scheduled for July 11.

He conspired with others to commit wire fraud by making false statements to H&R Block Home Mortgage Inc., including a false loan application, W-2, employment verification and pay stubs in connection with a mortgage on a home on Fire Island, N.Y., according to court documents and statements made in court.

Kottage also admitted Thursday that he conspired with others to commit bank fraud by submitting a false loan application to Washington Mutual to refinance a condominium in Hillsboro Beach, Fla. Co-defendant Mary Ellen Durso of Milford served as the straw owner for the condo to obtain the fraudulent loan proceeds for the benefit of Kottage and another co-conspirator. On Dec. 14, Durso pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy and five counts of filing false tax returns. On March 9, she was sentenced to three years of probation, the first six months of which she must serve in home confinement.

This case was investigated by the FBI and the IRS-Criminal Investigation. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Huang and Senior Litigation Counsel Richard J. Schechter.

To report financial fraud crimes and to learn more about the President's Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, visit www.stopfraud.gov .

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