Edward Bohm, center, leaves the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Central...

Edward Bohm, center, leaves the U.S. Federal Courthouse in Central Islip on Tuesday. Credit: Newsday/Steve Pfost

A Nissequogue businessman who pleaded guilty in 2019 to conspiring to commit wire fraud and bank fraud by using $8.9 million in loans to pay for his personal expenses and pay off other fraudulently obtained loans was sentenced to 24 months in prison Tuesday in federal court in Central Islip. 

Federal prosecutors urged U.S. District Judge Joanna Seybert in court documents to sentence Edward E. Bohm, 44, to 70 to 87 months in prison, saying that he had a 20-year criminal history that includes tax fraud, attempts to intimidate witnesses, threats of violence, conduct involving theft and driving while intoxicated.

“I really apologize to all the victims for all the crimes I committed,”  Bohm told Seybert before he was sentenced. “I made bad decisions and I have to pay the consequences.” 

Seybert said she sentenced Bohm to just a fraction of the time requested by the government because he had sought help for substance abuse and gambling problems, began paying restitution in the case and started a new business after his arrest in 2017.

Seybert also ordered Bohm to pay more than $3.4 million in restitution and forfeit $1.5 million in assets gained while participating in the scheme. 

“He’s turned his life around,” Bohm’s attorney, Barry S. Zone, told Seybert prior to sentencing. “He’s taking care of his family, he’s taking care of his children.” 

Bohm pleaded guilty to conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud in connection with the case in February 2019.

“With today’s sentence, Edward Bohm has been deservedly punished for his role in a fraudulent scheme that deceived banks that trusted and relied upon him as a business partner. Bohm diverted the loan proceeds to, among other things, pay tens of thousands of dollars in monthly personal credit card expenses and finance the luxury house in which he lived,” Breon Peace, United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, said in a a statement.

Bohm was the president of sales and an undisclosed owner of the Garden City-based Vanguard Funding, a 33-branch mortgage lending institution licensed in several states. Federal prosecutors said Bohm and other Vanguard senior executives obtained “warehouse” loans –  short-term loans – from banks, claiming they would use the funds to finance clients’ mortgages or to refinance mortgages.

Bohm and the other defendants used the money to pay personal expenses and compensation, or to pay off loans obtained with fraudulent submissions, prosecutors said. Bohm and two co-defendants – Edward J. Sypher Jr., and Matthew T. Voss – swindled at least $8.9 million from the banks, according to federal officials.

Prosecutors said the scheme endangered the well-being of Vanguard Funding, as well as the jobs of people it employed on Long Island and elsewhere, and that Bohm had more responsibility for the scheme than his co-defendants did. 

Sypher and Voss pleaded guilty in 2018 to conspiring to commit wire and bank fraud. Sypher was sentenced to 18 months in prison, whille Voss received a 24-month sentence.

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