Go Brooklyn. A jury in that fair borough has found Emmanuel “Toto” Constant guilty of mortgage fraud and grand larceny. Emmanuel Constant is the former founder and leader of FRAPH, the Haitian paramilitary group that in the early 90′s, systematically tortured and murdered thousands of supporters of deposed President Jean-Bertrand Aristide. Gang rapes and mutilation by ax were FRAPH specialties. The majority of victims lived in Haiti’s slums. Aristide, a Catholic priest enamored of liberation theology, was prone to totalitarian temptation. Some say he dabbled in drug traffic. Still, he was democratically elected by a desperately poor populace.
Try telling that to the CIA.
During the Clinton years Toto Constant got CIA jack. When Aristide returned to power (briefly) Toto snuck out the back. Entering the USA through Puerto Rico on a tourist visa. When Toto’s stateside presence was discovered it was kinda embarrassing for the Clinton admin. Threats of deportation were made. Supposedly Toto beat that rap by offering to reveal the details of his CIA deal on TV. Whatever. The Bloody One settled down in a lovely home on a quiet street in Queens. Though his residence in the USA remained legally dicey neither Clinton nor Bush deported him.
Eventually Toto became a licensed Realtor and mortgage broker. (In New York State having a rep for paramilitary excess doesn’t disqualify a person from becoming a real estate pro.) By the beginning of the new millennium Toto’s mortgage fraud career was flourishing. He was working with several overlapping groups of organized white collar criminals based in New Jersey and New York– zeroing in on low-income and/or Caribbean immigrant neighborhoods in Brooklyn and Queens. Toto also flipped out on Long Island, a hot spot of the national mortgage biz. Constant & crew employed all the tricks the FBI has been hollering about for years. Straw buyers, collusive bank officers, phony appraisers, forged docs, invisible rehabs, etc. One player bragged that their fraudulent appraisals had inflated the values of an entire down-at-the-heels neighborhood. Turning it into a pair of Manolo Blahniks. On paper.
Some of the biggest names in the mortgage game went for paper cranked out by Toto and his twisted business associates. One prime example: EMC Mortgage, son of Bear Stearns.
You can read all about Bloody Toto in Mortgage Fraud Land at Blogger News Network or NowPublic. Detailed trial coverage can be found at the Center for Constitutional Rights. Incidentally, Toto was warned about intimidating witnesses. He’d been making creepy phone calls. You can take the boy out of FRAPH but–
Carola Von Hoffmannstahl-Solomonoff
“Se bon ki ra”
Good is rare
Send comments or confidential tips to: