WHITE PLAINS, N.Y. (CBSNewYork/AP) — Twelve members of a single family were charged Thursday with lying to lenders to obtain more than $20 million in mortgage loans over the past decade, most of which went into default.

An indictment unsealed in federal court in White Plains charged Irving Rubin and his relatives with conspiring to defraud and conspiring to make false statements. It alleged that family members — from Brooklyn and Kiryas Joel, in Orange County — used the proceeds to pay their credit card debts and their own home mortgages and to fund other real estate projects.

The defendants include Rubin, his wife, two sons, three brothers and five in-laws. A lawyer and an appraiser also were charged.

WEB EXTRA: Read The Indictment

The indictment said family members lied to lenders about their assets, income, employment and primary residence to obtain mortgages on at least 18 properties they claimed to own, most of them in Brooklyn.

The lies gave “the false appearance of creditworthiness, when in fact the assets and/or bank accounts were nonexistent” or were not fully owned by the applicant, the indictment said.

It said they “engaged in extensive efforts to perpetuate and conceal” the scheme. For example, some of the defendants allegedly made sham transfers among themselves, “thereby confounding attempts by lenders to recover on defaulted loans,” the indictment said.

Several defendants also were charged with fraudulently receiving hundreds of thousands in food stamps, Medicaid and home-heating help.

U.S. Attorney Preet Bharara said the accused were either princes or paupers, depending on what best suited their needs.

“Many of the defendants claimed poverty to defraud federal, state and local government, including Medicaid, the food stamp program,” Bharara told reporters, including WCBS 880’s Irene Cornell and 1010 WINS’ Al Jones. “They paid little or no income taxes, all to divert money to their own pockets.”

At the same time, many defendants were allegedly claiming considerable wealth in order to qualify for high-dollar mortgages. They defrauded banks by not paying them back, Bharara said.

“Regardless of whether they were posing as rich men or poor men, they were always con men,” Bharara said.

There was no immediate information on defense attorneys or hometowns.

A family friend, however, said the family is pillars of the Orthodox community.

“Very generous people, very respected people,” the man told Jones.

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