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DA: Merrick man convicted in $500K mortgage scam

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A Merrick man learned Tuesday that he may face the next 15 years behind bars after a Suffolk County jury convicted him on mortgage fraud and oher charges following a trial that lasted more than a month, according to court records.

Rufino “Abraham” Cordova, 41, was convicted Feb. 4 after jurors found him guilty of second-degree grand larceny, two counts of second-degree residential mortgage fraud and scheme to defraud.

Prosecutors alleged the theft occured in 2008 and 2009 through two real estate transactions involving properties in Hempstead and Central Islip. The two lenders – Bank of America and National City Mortgage – lost more than $500,000, prosecutors said.

“In this scheme, the investigaion by our Mortgage Fraud Unit detectives found evidence that Cordonva created companies on paper to buy property and then sell the home to a straw buyer – who has secured financing with bogus financial credentials and an over-stated annual income,” Suffolk County District Attorney Thomas Spota said in announcing the conviction.

Spota said Cordova also faces other charges “related to fraudulent mortgage schemes in other indictments.”

Cordova's trial began on Jan. 2 and continued until Jan. 31 before Judge Mark Cohen at the Suffolk County Court in Riverhead. Jurors began deliberating Tuesday morning after being delayed for inclement weather.

Cordova, the DA's office said, remains behind bars in lieu of $250,000 cash bail or $500,000 bond. He is set to be sentenced in March.

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