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Westport Man Found Guilty In $3.5M Fraud Scheme

WESTPORT, Conn. – A 49-year-old Westport man faces a maximum of 40 years in prison after he was found guilty Tuesday for his role in a $3.5 million mortgage fraud scheme, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced.

Along with several co-conspirators, William A. Trudeau Jr., a property developer, fraudulently obtained mortgage loans from February 2004 through April 2010, Thomas Carson, a spokesperson for the U.S. Attorney’s office, said in a news release.

Trudeau, an unnamed principal of Aspetuck Building & Development and Huntington South Associates LLC, and the others submitted false mortgage loan applications on various properties throughout Fairfield County in order to develop and sell the properties for profit and pay off debts owed to other lenders they previously obtained high-interest loans from, Carson said. Huntington South Associates was a shell company Trudeau used to pay for personal expenses and secure loans fraudulently, Carson added.

In 2003, Trudeau was convicted of fraud and tax offenses. As a result, he was prohibited from owning or operating any business that was not in his own name, required to report all of his assets to the federal court and ordered to pay more than $450,000 in restitution.

Because Trudeau was an unnamed principal, his name did not appear on documentation related to the loans or the properties for which the loans were obtained. Additionally, to prevent the collection of his court-ordered restitution, money was hidden in bank accounts that were not in his name, Carson said.

With help from others, Trudeau sought additional money from a private lender to complete construction on one of the properties, which he claimed to have a signed contract for, Carson said. Instead, Trudeau used the money for personal reasons.

Trudeau was found guilty on one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud and on one count of wire fraud. He is scheduled for sentencing Jan. 2.

Joseph Kriz, Heather Bliss, Fred Stevens and Thomas Preston, his co-conspirators, each have pleaded guilty to charges related to their involvement in this scheme, Carson said. Each is awaiting sentencing.

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