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Archives January 15, 2006


Fraud Stories From
Patrick Crowley

Fraud Wire

State Stops Fictitious Financier's Foreclosure
It took a court order obtained by the Massachusetts attorney general to prevent an alleged bogus mortgage lender from foreclosing on the home of a 71-year-old woman.

Attorney General Tom Reilly said in a statement he filed a complaint in Massachusetts Superior Court against Michael W. O'Donnell, who had been doing business under the "fictitious" business name Setter Financial.

Reilly said O'Donnell allegedly provided a mortgage loan to Carol Rebello, 71, "with the intention of foreclosing on it and taking possession of her home" in Taunton, Mass.

The loan was made to Rebello so she could bring the single-family house up to city and state sanitary codes. It had been condemned by the Taunton Board of Health in February of 2004 after it had been not been lived in for years.

read all of Patrick's story at MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

Dead Fraud
Two previously convicted mortgage brokers have been indicted for using the identities of dead people to commit mortgage fraud. But neither has yet been apprehended.

Mark D. Musselman, 48, of Piqua, Ohio, and his alleged accomplice, Mark S. Edwards, 49, of Clayton, Ohio, were indicted for allegedly using phony information to secure more than $1 million in mortgages from InterFirst Mortgage Lenders, an Ann Arbor, Mich.-based unit of subprime lender ABN AMRO Mortgage.

Musselman's indictment included 59 felony criminal charges, while Edwards faces 48 charges, according to the Montgomery County Prosecutors office.

The criminal charges include engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity; aggravated theft of over $100,000; forgery; and tampering with records.

read the rest of Patrick's story at MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

January 13, 2006

Mistrial in Former Politician's Fraud Case
Ten jurors found former New Castle County offical Sherry L. Freebery guilty of mortgage fraud, but two other jurors disagreed -- leading to a mistrial.
read story from The News Journal .

71-Year-Old Facing Prison
Former Tower Executive Resources employee Lester Roy Retherford, who was convicted on two counts in a 27-count fraud case, maintains his innocence and is appealing his conviction -- claiming the government paid a witness.
read story from the Canon City Daily Record .

Utah Bill Would Make Fraud Crimes More Severe
Utah state Rep. Paul Ray, R-Clinton has sponsored a bill that would allow mortgage fraud to be prosecuted under the state's anti-racketeering laws.
read story from the Associated Press .

IL Foreclosure Bailout Law Proposed
Illinois state legislators introduced a bill Thursday aimed at scam artists that pretend to help delinquent borrowers, but only intend on stealing the properties.
read story from the Chicago Tribune .

January 12, 2006

Ohio Woman Indicted
Stephanie Woods was indicted for allegedly submitting fake applications on $2 million in bad loans to Dayton-area mortgage lenders over a year-and-a-half period.
read story from WHIO-TV7 news .

January 11, 2006

Lenders Bare Responsibility for Mortgage Fraud
Kristine Jones writes to the editor abut how fraud alerts from credit reporting bureaus last only 90 days -- hardly long enough to prevent mortgage fraud.
read editorial from the Chicago Tribune .

Flock Frauded
The Rev. Paul J. Starnes, former owner of Trinity Mortgage Brokerage Inc. and pastor of the Morning Star Church in Springfield, Mass., pleaded guilty Tuesday to his role in a fraud scheme that bilked $1.5 million from lenders and borrowers -- including some members of his congregation.
read story from the Associated Press .

Life Sentence for Fraud?
James Davis Bennett, a Rancho Santa Fe, Calif., mortgage broker and appraiser, was convicted Tuesday on charges of mortgage fraud and illegal flipping and faces a possible life sentence.
read story from the Los Angeles Times .

January 9, 2006

How to Spot Shady Lenders
Mortgage lenders that either encourage lying on the application, pressure for a unnecessarily high loan amount, or show up at closing with a product different than originally promised are among lenders to avoid.
read Bankrate.com story

Politician's Mortgage Fraud Trial Begins
The mortgage fraud trial of former New Castle, Pa., chief administrative officer Sherry Freebery begins today in Philadelphia.
read story from The News Journal .

Washington Brokers Say Licensing Will Help Fight Fraud
The Washington Association of Mortgage Brokers announced today its support of a pending legislative initiative for loan officer licensing and expanded examination authority by the Department of Financial Institutions.
read announcement at FraudBlogger.com .

Bill Would Require CO Brokers to Post $100k Bond
Real estate broker and Colorado legislator Tom Massey, who has long been bothered by the low level of mortgage broker regulation, is proposing a bill that would require lender to post a $100,000 bond to be used in case of mortgage fraud.
read story from The Pueblo Chieftain .

How to Spot Mortgage Fraud
Missouri was named one of the top 10 hot spots for mortgage fraud by the FBI.
read story from The Kansas City Star

Patrick Crowley is fraud journalist for MortgageDaily.com and a reporter and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Email Patrick at: PatCrowley@FraudBlogger.com
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