A real estate broker accused of being at the center of a Brooklyn and Queens mortgage fraud scam has jumped bail and is now on the run, federal prosecutors said Thursday.
John Star did not show up at a scheduled meeting to sign bond papers Wednesday. U.S. Marshals are now heading up the manhunt for this alleged white collar fugitive.
Star, 39, was indicted on April 6 on charges of submitting false loan applications, using straw buyers and getting fake appraisals in order to rip off financial lenders.
U.S. Attorney Benton Campbell said at the time that "professionals who serve as gatekeepers against fraud owe a duty to their clients and their oaths and should not compromise that duty by promoting their own selfish interests."
The maximum penalty for bank and wire fraud is 30 years. Officials said Star has lived in the U.S. and Switzerland. He is also a citizen of Nigeria.
Star joins a list of white collar suspects who have jumped bail in recent years. Among them are former Symbol Technologies CEO Tomo Razmilovic, who fled to Sweden and lives in an ocean-front villa there after being accused of looting millions from his company. As well as ex-Comverse Technologies head Jacob Alexander, who fled to Namibia in an effort to avoid U.S. securities fraud charges.
Star's lawyer, Anthony Mamo of Sleepy Hollow, had no comment.
In all, investigators said Star and his associates stole more than $10 million dollars from numerous financial institutions.