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Last Updated Friday, January 11, 2008, 5:00 PM Texas Time
photo of Coco Salazar

January 11, 2008

State Banking Department Issues New Fraud Prevention Initiatives
The Pennsylvania State Banking Department, in their efforts to provide resources and education for consumers about the mortgage loan process, has issued five new anti-fraud initiatives, and is working with the state's General Assembly on approving new legislation to protect consumers from predatory lending.

FTC Looks Into Validity Of Credit Freezes
The Federal Trade Commission is asking interested parties to submit their views on the impact of credit freezes on consumers who initiate their right to prevent credit reporting agencies from releasing a credit report without their consent.

Two Bookies Arrested For Mortgage Fraud
Two Philadelphia men who led a gambling ring admitted to a Superior Court judge that they lied about their true means of income in order to secure a $185,250 mortgage for a Margate condominium. Edward Wagner and Danilo Starita lied when they claimed to be employed for a legitimate company while, in reality, they had organized a betting scheme throughout New Jersey and Pennsylvania.
read story from PressOfAtlanticCity.com

2 Sentenced In Ongoing LHS Mortgage Fraud Trials
Jill Lehn was sentenced to two years in prison and three years of supervised release by a St. Paul, Minnesota federal court for participating in a $3.2 million mortgage loan pay-out scam operated by employees of LHS Mortgage, in which she pocketed more than $444,000. Isadore Stewart was also given eight-teen months behind bars and three years of supervised release for his role in the scheme, while the owner of LHS, Ronald Joseph, is still awaiting his sentencing.
read story from The Star Tribune

Borrowers Anxious During Loan Sense Investigation
While the California district attorney investigates Thomas Hastert and his company, Loan Sense, for real estate fraud, hearings are being held in the Nevada County courthouse to determine who will service the questionable loans for the more than 100 borrowers and investors during the proceedings.
read story from TheUnion.com

Appraiser Sentenced In Homebuilder Scam
Darryl L. Cooper was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay restitution for his part in a fraud scheme where he submitted fraudulent appraisals totaling $4.7 million in bogus valuations on incomplete houses in Forsyth County, Georgia. The appraisals were only part of a much larger scam led by homebuilder Jeffery Teague, who was sentenced in October.
read story from WSBTV.com

January 10, 2008

New Procedures Issued For Improved Fraud Prevention
The Office of Federal Housing Enterprise Oversight has issued their revised policy guidance for mortgage fraud prevention practices to Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae in an ongoing effort to curb fraud's impact on consumers.

16 Charged In Straw Buyer Scheme
A federal indictment from a Texas grand jury charges Cornelius Robinson and 15 others he led in a straw buyer scheme involving 25 properties in Austin and San Antonio. Each defendant faces up to 30 years in prison.
read story from Statesman.com

Child's SSN Stolen For Mortgage Loan
Chicago police arrested Ambrosio DeJesus-Flores and charged him with felony identity theft after he used an 11 year old girl's social security number that he purchased for $200 in order to secure a $149,000 mortgage on his Illinois home, to maintain employment, and aquire other lines of credit.
read story from The Daily Herald

Mortgage Broker Goes To Trial For Fraud Charges
Tameka Bryant has been charged for falsifying loan documents and using someone else's social security number to, through her two brokerage companies, qualify her clients for mortgage loans on 27 Gary, Indiana homes, bilking lenders out of over $1 million.
read story from NWI.com

Colombian National Arrested For Identity Theft
Mario Simbaqueba Bonilla was arrested by Federal agents when he landed at Miami International Airport where they charged him for a massive identity theft scam. The Colombian national had installed software in hotel business center computers that allowed him to steal personal information from more than 600 victims who accessed their bank and mortgage accounts on the infected networks.
read story from The Sun Sentinel

January 9, 2008

Fraud Case Only Tip Of Iceberg
Calvin Write claimed that he made over $50,000 a month as an officer for a marketing firm, and had assets of $3 million when he applied for a mortgage on a $1.8 million mansion near Atlanta. He actually was a telephone technician earning only $150,000 a year with just $35,000 in assets. The property recently went into foreclosure, and is just part of the $6.8 million in fraudulent mortgages funded by Bear Stearns.
read story from The Contra Costa Times

Mary Jane's Mortgage Fraud
Carmen E. Fernandez, Jorge Luis Fernandez, and Juan Carlos Calderon-Mencriff are facing charges that accuse the three of fraudulently obtaining mortgages by lying on loan applications for homes in Port St. Lucie, Florida. At least one of the properties was allegedly used to grow crops of marijuana.
read story from The Palm Beach Post

January 8, 2008

Service Prevents Multi-Closings on 1 Property
A fraud prevention service has reportedly helped mortgage lenders avoid $40 million in mortgage fraud during the first year after it was launched. (Jan. 8)
read story from MortgageDaily.com

Accomplice Pleads Guilty In Home Builder's Scam
Judy Brumble admitted to her role in a $25 million mortgage fraud scam led by Jeffrey Miller, who once ran a Kansas City area home building company where he falsified loan documents in order to deceive lenders into qualifying home buyers with weak credit.
read story from The Kansas City Business Journal

January 7, 2008

Forged Signature Lands Missouri Woman Behind Bars
Rose Shaw was sentenced to 33 months in jail and ordered to pay restitution for falsifying loan documents and forging the signature of a Chief U.S. Bankruptcy Judge in order to acquire a $795,686 mortgage from Long Beach Mortgage Co. The property is now sitting in foreclosure due to loan payments that were never made.
read story from The St. Louis Business Journal

Colorado Man Steals Millions From Investors
Kenneth Germain has been indicted by a Denver jury on 62 counts of theft and securities fraud in a mortgage loan investment scheme involving 167 properties that had appraisals that were inflated anywhere from $40,000 to $90,000.
read story from The Denver Post

You Should Have Charged Me Sooner
Don Reinhard is asking the U.S. District Court in Florida to dismiss mortgage fraud charges made against him by the Securities and Exchange Commission because he claims that authorities waited too long past the two-year statute of limitations to charge him.
read story from The St. Petersburg Times

Victim Of ID Theft Sues Credit Reporting Agency
Suzanne Sloane fell victim to a hospital employee while giving birth in a Virginia medical center. Over the next few months, $30,000 in fraudulent debt was charged to her name, and even after the crime was discovered, Sloane was unable to restore her credit due to Equifax failing to take steps to correct her credit report. After suing Equifax, a jury has awarded Sloane $351,000 in economic damages and mental anguish.
read story from Find Law

Coco Salazar is an associate editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

e-mail: MortgageWriter@aol.com

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