Bloomington Man Gets 4 Years in Condo Mortgage Fraud

Gerald Greenfield was sentenced for helping Brett Thielen, who was executing a mortgage fraud scheme involving a Minneapolis condo building, launder illegal profits.

Gerald Greenfield of Bloomington was sentenced Tuesday to four years and two months in prison for his role in a $2.5 million mortgage fraud scheme involving the Sexton Lofts condo building in downtown Minneapolis.

Greenfield was also fined $10,000 and ordered to turn over “hundreds of thousands of dollars which were involved in the money laundering conspiracy,” according to Minnesota's U.S. Attorney's office.

Beginning in 2006, Greenfield conspired with Brett Thielen and others to launder proceeds of a fraud scheme that Thielen was executing at the Sexton Lofts. During a market downturn, Thielen recruited unqualified buyers to purchase condos and fraudulently convinced mortgage lenders to loan money to those buyers, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. Greenfield then helped Thielen launder the profits he illegally gained through the fraud.

To do so, Greenfield wired the ill-received proceeds to an attorney in Australia and told him to distribute it to various places to create the appearance that the funds came from legitimate sources. For example, Greenfield told the attorney to wire some of the funds to a brokerage firm to purchase stock in a Burnsville-based company called DigitalTown.

Furthermore, in 2009, an undercover law enforcement officer met with Greenfield at Manny's restaurant in Minneapolis, at which point he agreed to help the officer launder $50,000 in supposed drug trafficking profits by converting the money to DigitalTown stock.

Greenfield was indicted, along with co-conspirator Nicholas Ryan Delon Smith, in February 2010 and pleaded guilty a few months later. Smith ran a mortgage brokerage firm in Minneapolis and falsified income and employment information about straw buyers used in the mortgage fraud scheme. He received a 40-month prison sentence last January.

Thielen, meanwhile, was sentenced in December 2010 to 27 months in prison.