Ripa kin sentenced to one day in prison

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CAMDEN – A member of the famous Ripa family in southern Jersey has been ordered to spend a day in federal custody for his role in a mortgage fraud.

Stephen Ripa of Stratford is also due to pay compensation of around $ 585,000 and spend five years on probation under a sentence imposed by a federal judge in Camden.

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United States District Court Judge Robert Kugler imposed one-day concurrent sentences on Ripa, who pleaded guilty to wire fraud and money laundering conspiracy charges in August 2013. The conviction took place on June 15.

Authorities accused Ripa of submitting “bogus and misleading” applications to secure mortgages for two condominiums in Wildwood Crest that sold at inflated prices in the spring of 2007.

According to a plea deal, Ripa – a co-owner of the developer of the condo complex – then distributed the mortgage money between himself and others.

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Authorities said Ripa obtained fraudulent loans worth $ 627,500 for one property and approximately $ 586,000 for the other. Lenders lost more than $ 850,000 when the properties were foreclosed, according to the New Jersey attorney’s office.

Ripa has been identified as the cousin of TV host Kelly Ripa and the nephew of Camden County Clerk Joseph Ripa.

His lawyer, James M. Conley of Haddon Township, could not be reached for comment.

Palm Beach Villas Development Group, the company behind the condo complex, was among four co-conspirators listed in a federal complaint in October 2012. Also named are RR, a mortgage broker for Lincoln Mortgage Co. in Lindenwold; KP, a settlement agent for Freedom Title Co. of Voorhees; and DR, an operator of the Blackwood Redevelopment Group in the Township of Gloucester.

Court documents said DR “artificially inflated sales contracts … to pay off pre-existing construction loans.”

Authorities said that Ripa, by submitting false information to lenders, reported income of $ 32,000 per month as CFO of Carlisle Management Group LLC.

When charges were announced against Ripa, he was an executive at the South Jersey Eye Center in Camden, earning $ 65,000 a year at the nonprofit health care provider.

Contact Jim Walsh at [email protected] or (856) 486-2646

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