Federal Court in Camden

Mitchell H. Cohen Building and U.S. Courthouse in Camden. Photo by Erin Grugan. 

A Hamilton Township woman has admitted her role in a more than $200,000 mortgage-fraud conspiracy involving a property she bought in Mays Landing, acting U.S. Attorney William E. Fitzpatrick announced.

Betsy Borges, 38, pleaded guilty Tuesday before Senior U.S. District Judge Jerome B. Simandle in Camden federal court to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, Fitzpatrick said.

Borges was originally charged in May with Iraida Fuentes, 35, of Pleasantville.

According to documents filed in the case and statements made in court:

In December 2002, Borges purchased a property on Cardigan Court in Mays Landing.

Despite failing to make mortgage payments to Wachovia and its successor, Wells Fargo, Borges collected rental income from tenants living in the property and concealed that income from the banks, Fitzpatrick said.

Borges also falsely represented to Wells Fargo, on multiple occasions, that she could not make the mortgage payments for the property, Fitzpatrick said.

Borges subsequently arranged with Wells Fargo for Fuentes to purchase the property through a short sale. Not only did Borges and Fuentes conceal their familial relationship from Wells Fargo, they also concealed the fact Borges and another conspirator provided Fuentes the funds to purchase the property, Fitzpatrick said.

On Sept. 20, 2012, Fuentes bought the property at a price well below its actual value. On Nov. 22, 2016, B&B Properties, a company owned in part by Borges, purchased the property from Fuentes for $25,000. On Feb. 3, 2017, Borges then individually purchased the property from B&B for $1, Fitzpatrick said.

The bank-fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. As part of her plea agreement, Borges must forfeit $206,450 in criminal proceeds from the scheme. Sentencing is scheduled for Feb. 23.

Fuentes pleaded guilty Nov. 6 to making a false declaration in the grand jury in relation to this matter and awaits sentencing.

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Twenty years as a staff writer in the features department, specializing in entertainment and the arts at The Press of Atlantic City.

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