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Archives January 22, 2006


Fraud Stories From
Patrick Crowley

Fraud Wire

Baltimore Beats Real Estate Bandits
A law enforcement crackdown and media-generated awareness has cooled the former mortgage-fraud hotbed of Baltimore.

More than 100 defendants were sentenced last year as part of a concerted effort by federal prosecutors to stifle property flipping and appraisal scams that had been rampant in entire neighborhoods.

"We still have some open investigations," Joyce McDonald, who handles mortgage fraud for the U.S. attorney's office in Maryland, told MortgageDaily.com. "But the volume is going down. We hope we're one of the reasons" for the decline.

Jim Croft, founder of the Mortgage Asset Research Institute of Reston, Va., or MARI, said that he used to call "Baltimore the flipping capital of the galaxy."

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

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)

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

January 20, 2006

Web Site Sells Fraud Paystubs for $90
Automatic Data Processing Inc., or ADP, has sued NoveltyPaycheckStubs.com for selling fake paystubs that use its trademark.
read story from The Associated Press .

Brokers Offer Fraud Prevention Tips
One of the best ways to prevent mortgage fraud is borrower education about mortgage lending, according to the National Association of Mortgage Brokers.
read story from the Daily News Transcript .

Title Agency Steals $3 Million from First American
Peter Shaw, the former owner of Capital Title Company, was sentenced to more than four years in prison for diverting as much as $3 million from First American Title Insurance Co. for personal use.
read article from Broker Universe .

Flips: Legal or Illegal?
Mortgage industry journalist Lew Sichelman discusses the difference between legal real estate flips and illegal flips involving mortgage fraud.
read story from MarketWatch .

Pocono Grand Jury to Investigate Mortgage Fraud
Pennsylvania District Attorney E. David Christine has received permission to form an investigating grand jury to look into different kinds of cases -- including mortgage fraud.
read story from the Pocono Record .

6 Months for $100,000 in Losses
Denise Strollo, who previously worked for Professional Mortgage Group, was sentenced for falsely inflating closing costs, forging signatures and presenting banks with the fraudulent pacakges.
read story from the Rochester Democrate and Chronicle .

Hatfields, McCoys Unite on Mortgage Fraud
The Colorado Mortgage Lenders Association and its rival, the Colorado Association of Mortgage Brokers, have come together to promote the proposed Mortgage Enforcement Act.
read story from the Denver Post .

January 18, 2006

Millions Available for Texas Fraud Victims
Texas borrowers who have been defrauded in a mortgage transaction currently have nearly $2 million available from the Mortgage Broker Recovery Fund -- which each licensed broker is required to contribute to.
read story from WOAI News 4 .

26-Page White Paper Examines How Electronic Notary Combats Mortgage Fraud
The National Notary Association has just published Electronic Notarization: Why It's Needed, How It Works, And How It Can Be Implemented To Enable Greater Transactional Security, a white paper prepared by Massachusetts Institute of Technology professor that touts the virtues of e-notarization and how it can help prevent mortgage fraud.

January 17, 2006

300 SARs Filed in Dallas During 2005
Texas state Rep. Linda Harper-Brown said, "In my area alone, we know of at least two separate mortgage fraud groups who have walked off with millions."

read story from The Dallas Morning News .

January 16, 2006

Former Judge Pleads Guilty to Mortgage Fraud
Bobby Fisher Jr., a Mississippi attorney and former judge; his employee, Daniel Floyed; Ernest Wayne White Jr., a mortgage broker; Joni Lynn Goss, former mortgage company owner; and real estate broker John William Emory III and agent Jim L. Pruett, plead guilty to participating in a $2.8 million mortgage fraud scam.
read story from The Greenwood Commonwealth .

Online Fraud Curriculum
Interthinx hosted a fraud seminar with the Mortgage Bankers Association of Missouri via the Web on Dec.15 with more than 90 mortgage banking professionals and executives on the nuances of mortgage fraud and best practices for fraud prevention.

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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