CLIFFVIEW PILOT EXCLUSIVE: An Upper Saddle River mortgage broker is free on $100,000 bail, charged with pocketing interest payments that were supposed to have gone to a lender.
Steven A. Meneve, the former director of business development at Garden State Mortgage in Wyckoff, is charged with theft by deception, failing to properly dispose funds and forgery, records show.
Meneve’s business includes finding lenders who can provide loans to borrowers who ordinarily don’t qualify for financing.
Although relatively high, the rates he obtains — ordinarily around 15 percent — aren’t considered usurious, a law enforcement official with direct knowledge of the case told CLIFFVIEW PILOT today.
In the case that led to the charges, Meneve, 49, found a lender for a borrower, prepared the mortgage documents, obtained the loan and forwarded it to the borrower in October 2008, the official said.
However, instead of having the borrower sign a note for a 15-percent interest payment, Meneve obtained an agreement to pay 2 percent a month, he said.
The 6-foot, 230-pound Rutgers University graduate also added his name to the mortgage, so that the payments could be made directly to him, Bergen County prosecutors allege.
The lender, not receiving payments, contacted the borrower, who produced the documents, along with proof of payments to Meneve, they said.
Meneve posted bail yesterday and was released from the Bergen County Jail after being arrested Wednesday, records show.