For Immediate Release - June 20, 2011

Marshfield Woman Pleads Guilty, Sentenced for Perjury in Connection with Lying on Court Affidavit and Lying About Son's Death to Mortgage Lender to Avoid or Delay Payments on Her Home

BROCKTON - A Marshfield woman has pled guilty in connection with trying to delay or avoid foreclosure of a home mortgage by falsely reporting the death of a child to her mortgage company, and thereafter knowingly falsifying information in an affidavit filed in Brockton Superior Court, Attorney General Martha Coakley's Office announced today.

On June 17, 2011, Donna Larson, age 52, pled guilty in Brockton Superior Court to charges of Attempted Larceny and Perjury. After the plea was entered, Superior Court Judge Carol Ball sentenced Larson to two and a half years in the House of Correction, with the sentence suspended for a probationary period of five years. Larson must also perform 500 hours of community service, undergo mental health treatment, and was ordered to stay away from the attorney whose name she fraudulently used on court documents.

In September 2008, the Attorney General's Office began an investigation after Larson's activities were referred by Plymouth Superior Court. On numerous occasions between June 2007 and September 2008, Larson repeatedly lied to her mortgage company and in court documents submitted to the Southeast Division of the Housing Court and Plymouth Superior Court in order to delay or avoid mortgage payment obligations and eviction from her West Bridgewater residence.

Larson stopped making payments on her mortgage in November, 2006. In June and August 2007, she falsely reported to her mortgage company that a son in the military had died and that she was awaiting payment of a life insurance policy that she intended to use to pay off her loan. Based on this misrepresentation, the mortgage company granted multiple extensions on mortgage payments before ultimately foreclosing on the loan in September 2007.

Following the foreclosure, Larson failed to vacate the premises, and eviction proceedings were commenced in the Southeast Division of the Housing Court. In January and February 2008, under the assumed identity of a fictional clerk of an attorney known to her but not actually representing her, Larson sent the Housing Court two faxes requesting the postponement of an eviction hearing. The faxes falsely claimed that a relative of the attorney had died, and the attorney would be unavailable for the scheduled court dates. The court granted Larson two extensions based upon the false representations in the faxes.

In May 2008, a person claiming to be a relative of Larson's called the mortgage lender's attorney and falsely reported that Larson had died, again requesting additional time to vacate the residence. Believing that Larson was indeed deceased, the lender's attorney granted the defendant's family additional extensions on the eviction.

The mortgage lender's lawyer learned that Larson was not dead when, on May 28, 2008, Larson sought to delay the eviction by requesting the issuance of a temporary restraining order from the Plymouth Superior Court. Included with her request was a fabricated email from the mortgage company falsely confirming that the foreclosure of her mortgage had occurred in error. Larson affirmed the authenticity of the email in an affidavit signed under the penalties of perjury. The court granted the temporary restraining order. When later confronted with evidence that the email was fabricated and fictional in content, Larson submitted a second affidavit, also signed under the penalties of perjury, in which she reaffirmed the contents of the prior affidavit and her representations to the court.

A Plymouth County Grand Jury returned indictments against Larson on June 25, 2010. On July 12, 2010, she was arraigned in Brockton Superior Court where she pled not guilty and was released on personal recognizance. Last week, Larson pled guilty to all charges and was sentenced.

The case was prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Jessica Massey and was investigated by Attorney General Coakley's Fraud and Financial Crimes Division with assistance from Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General's Office.