Former Wells Fargo loan officer sentenced to 2 years in $40 million mortgage scam

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CAMDEN, New Jersey — A former loan officer for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage has been sentenced to two years in prison for his role in a $40 million scam.

Robert Serao of Bayville had previously pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud conspiracy. Nine other defendants have pleaded guilty.

The 48-year-old had worked as a branch manager, sales manager and loan officer for Wells Fargo Home Mortgage. The U.S. attorney's office alleges Serao was part of a conspiracy in which he submitted mortgage applications for unqualified straw buyers based on bogus information.

When the bogus loan applications were approved and lenders sent the proceeds in connection with the real estate closings, Serao's co-conspirators would take a portion of the money.

Serao also was ordered to pay restitution of $1.5 million.

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