BOSTON — A former Massachusetts lawyer and his wife have been convicted in federal court in Boston for various mortgage fraud schemes.
Barry Wayne Plunkett Jr., 62, and Nancy Plunkett, 57, both of Hyannis Port, were sentenced on August 25, 2022, by U.S. District Court Judge Mark L. Wolf. Barry Plunkett was sentenced to 78 months in prison and five years of probation. He was also ordered to pay restitution of $3,236,466 and forfeiture of $3,221,403. Nancy Plunkett was sentenced to one year and one day in prison and five years of probation. She was also ordered to pay restitution of $3,054,759, jointly and severally with Barry Plunkett, and forfeiture of $3,221,403. On March 4, 2022, Barry Plunkett pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud, one count of aggravated impersonation and one count of tax evasion. On the same day, Nancy Plunkett pleaded guilty to five counts of bank fraud.
Before being disbarred in October 2017, Barry Plunkett owned and operated the law firm Plunkett where his wife, Nancy Plunkett, was his office assistant and paralegal.
The defendants engaged in several bank fraud schemes. In one scheme, from September 2012 to July 2016, the defendants defrauded six mortgage lenders and 14 landlords for whom the law firm Plunkett handled the closings of new mortgages to refinance residential properties. The Plunketts informed the mortgage lenders that the pre-existing mortgages had been paid off from the new loan proceeds when, in fact, they had intentionally failed to pay off the prior liens and instead had converted more than $1 million into mortgage funds. repayment for their own purposes.
In other bank fraud schemes – between April 2015 and March 2018 – the Plunketts fraudulently used various names, entities and false documents to secure three successive mortgages on their Hyannis Port home for amounts of $412,000, 470,000 $ and $1.2 million. The defendants pledged property in Hyannis Port that was held in a family trust of which Barry Plunkett was one of three beneficiaries. The two defendants participated in providing false documents to the lenders, including false title reports and other documents to falsely represent that the property was free and clear of any existing mortgage liens and false documents in the name of other people. The defendants also made false statements to a lender that Nancy Plunkett was a single woman living in Wellesley who was buying the property under her maiden name as a business investment when in fact the defendants had been married since 2014 and that the property was their residence.
United States Attorney Rachael S. Rollins; Joseph R. Bonavolonta, special agent in charge of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, Boston Division; and Joleen D. Simpson, Special Agent in Charge of Criminal Investigation for the Internal Revenue Service in Boston, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Victor A. Wild and Mackenzie Queenin of Rollins’ Securities, Finance and Cyber Fraud Unit and Carol Head, head of Rollins’ Asset Recovery Unit, prosecuted the case.