Wilton man sentenced to 30 months for bank fraud

Joseph Kriz, 50, of Wilton, was sentenced on Friday, May 31 to 30 months imprisonment for his role in a Fairfield County mortgage fraud scheme, reports the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

According to the FBI, Mr. Kriz partnered with William A. Trudeau Jr., formerly of Westport, to  “purchase, develop, and sell properties by defrauding banks and mortgage lenders,” beginning in 2005.

Both parties filed false loan applications to financial institutions in order to “develop and sell the properties for profit and to pay off debts owed to ‘hard money’ lenders from whom they had previously obtained high-interest loans,” a press release said.

By falsifying information on loan applications, the convicted criminals fraudulently qualified for mortages which far exceeded their ability to repay loans. Specifically, both men falsified their income levels, and omitted their current level of indebtedness, the FBI said.

Both Mr. Kriz and Mr. Trudeau obtained $4 million in mortgage loans to purchase six properties in Westport and Newtown. Mortgage lenders report a to-date loss of approximately $1.9 million.

Mr. Kriz cooperated with the investigation of Mr. Trudeau after pleading guilty to conspiracy to commit bank fraud, fraud in loan and credit applications, and mail fraud in 2008.

Mr. Trudeau was sentenced to 188 months imprisonment for conspiracy to commit bank fraud, mail fraud and wire fraud, and wire fraud in February 2012.

Both cases were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Rahul Kale and Christopher Schmeisser.

For the full FBI press release click here.