George Bussanich Sr., and his son George Bussanich Jr., of New Jersey both pleaded guilty in Newark federal court to one count of tax evasion. Bussanich Sr. also pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud conspiracy.
Between 2009 and 2012 the Bussaniches’ conspired to defraud mortgage lenders though two sham short sales of properties that were owned by Bussanich Jr. Bussanich Sr., who controlled medical clinics and surgical centers, recruited his business partner and an employee to pose as straw buyers for the properties. Bussanich Sr. used his businesses to fund both short sale transactions. His son negotiated the fraudulent short sales with lenders using false information. Two years later, the elder Bussanich bought the properties back from the straw purchasers using money he owed his business partner.
Bussanich Sr. also failed to disclose on his tax return the hundreds of thousands of dollars of income he received from his medical clinics and surgery centers. Besides using money from his businesses to fund the fraudulent short sales, he also purchased high-end luxury vehicles including two land Rovers and a Ferrari Spyder costing over $300,000.
The bank fraud conspiracy charge carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and fines up to $1 million. The tax evasion charge carries a maximum sentence of 5 years in prison and up to a $250,000 fine. Sentencing is scheduled for January 2020.