Fields Corner bank manager gets year in prison, has to repay $2.2 million, for role in condo-flipping scheme

Arthur Samuels, who once ran Bank of America's Fields Corner branch, was sentenced to a year and a day in federal prison and ordered to pay $2.2 million in restitution for his role in Michael David Scott's scheme to suck money out of banks with fraudulent real-estate purchases in 2007 and 2008, the US Attorney's office in Boston reports.

In the scheme, Scott and his numerous conspirators, who included a real-estate broker and a lawyer, bought apartment buildings in Dorchester and neighboring areas, converted them to condos, then recruited straw buyers who would get mortgages for the units, then default - letting the ring keep the initial mortgage payments and then repeat the process.

The sentence comes after Samuels pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud.

The government charged that Samuels, 41, of Mattapan, created Bank of America "verification of deposit" statements falsely showing straw buyers had decent balances with the bank, letting the schemers convince other banks and mortgage brokers to lend money for the condos.

He also acted as a straw buyer himself for three units and recruited another straw purchaser for another unit, the government charged.

Samuels was specifically charged with participation in the fraudulent purchase of units at 3 Parkman St., 7 Parkman St., 672 Adams St. and 365 Centre St., all in Dorchester.

In the case of the 7 Parkman unit, the government charged, Samuels issued a "verification of deposit" showing roughly $12,400 in an account that actually had only about $1,500 at the time.