In an ironic twist, a Connecticut state employee who manages fraud investigations for the state's welfare department has been charged with mortgage modification fraud.
Lynwood Patrick Jr., 39, of East Hartford, Conn., was arrested Wednesday at his home on a charge of wire fraud, according to the U.S. Attorney's office. He was released on a $150,000 bond after appearing before a federal judge in Hartford.
According to the criminal complaint, Patrick is employed as the director of investigations for the State of Connecticut's department of social services, office of quality assurance.
Authorities allege that between November 2012 and May 2013, Patrick applied for a mortgage modification under the Home Affordable Modification Program through JPMorgan Chase. However, he allegedly fabricated State of Connecticut pay stubs and lied about his assets in order qualify for the program.
Specifically, Patrick claimed that he had total assets of $500 in one checking account to show that he had experienced a loss of income causing a hardship, when, in fact, he had thousands of dollars spread out over multiple accounts at several institutions and his rate of pay had not diminished.
Patrick's arrest appears to follow a failed effort to establish several income-producing residential properties, according to a bankruptcy he filed in Hartford in February, the U.S. Department of Justice says in its release. The Chapter 7 filing shows Patrick had an interest in three properties that have been foreclosed upon and two that are in foreclosure.
If convicted, Patrick faces up to 20 years in prison.
In his job with the state, Patrick is responsible for coordinating and conducting activities to prevent, detect and investigate fraud, waste, abuse and overpayments in federally funded welfare programs, such as Connecticut Medicaid, Care4Kids, Supplemental Nutritional Assistance and Connecticut Energy Assistance programs.