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Last Updated Friday, January 25, 2008 5:00 PM Texas Time

January 25, 2008

Man Sentenced For Participation In Texas Mortgage Scam
Gandhi Ben Morka was sentenced to 60 months in prison and ordered to pay $2.3 million in restitution for his role as an appraiser in a scheme that used fraudulent mortgage applications for Dallas area homes to swindle millions of dollars from Countrywide Financial.

New Jersey Brokers Helped Clients Open Phoney Credit Lines
Four brokers working for American Macro Growth have been charged in a fraud scheme including nine others that cost lenders $20 million. Jacob Kim, Jun Hwang, Jeff Kim, and Justin Kim helped their clients use their properties to fraudulently open multiple home equity and business lines of credit.

January 24, 2008

Texas Sized Mortgage Fraud Involved 300 Homes
Joseph Leon Nealy has been accused of stealing at least $200,000 from lenders during his roll in a mortgage fraud ring including 14 other people that involved 300 properties that all together cost Houston area mortgage companies more than $40 million over the past three years.
read story from KVUE.com

Florida Appraisers Push Two Cities To Top Of Fraud List
Miami and Tampa now rank as two of the top ten U.S. cities where mortgage fraud crime thrives. Officials state that most fraud cases involve inflated property values, and fraudsters are finding Florida's lax appraiser certification requirements too tempting to resist taking advantage of.
read story from The St. Petersburg Times

January 23, 2008

Miami Loan Originator Admits To Straw Buyer Scam
Mortgage originator Marlene Dinnall, who goes by several aliases, pled guilty to 15 counts of wire fraud and bank fraud in a mortgage scheme involving straw buyers she recruited to obtain home loans and open an $800,000 line of credit from a federally insured financial institution using falsified documents and stolen identity information.

New Evidence Introduced In Medina Mortgage Fraud Trial
A new grand jury in Houston is hearing new evidence in a mortgage fraud and arson trial against Texas Supreme Court Justice David Medina and his wife. In June, a fire destroyed the Medina's house and investigators became suspicious after discovering that the mortgage on the property was five months delinquent. Officials have not released what the evidence might be, and three of the thirty-seven defendants involved in the case remain in custody.
read story from abc13.com

Man Requests Release Awaiting Mortgage Fraud Trial
An Ohio judge heard requests for a release bond by David B. Willan's family and lawyer, stating that he was not a flight risk. Willan has been in jail awaiting trial for allegedly using his company, Evergreen Homes LLC, and the aid of 16 other individuals, to bilk Akron area homeowners, lenders, and investors out of more than $16 million.
read story from The Beacon Journal

Illinois Man Sentenced In $8 Million Mortgage Scam
Michael Kakvand was sentenced to nine years in prison for masterminding an $8 million mortgage fraud that targeted low-income home buyers in the Rogers Park and South Shore neighborhoods of Chicago.
read story from The Chicago Tribune

Con Artist's Ex-Wife Swears Innocence
Nansi Masihi, former wife of convicted mortgage fraudster Tony Daniloo, continues to proclaim her non-involvement in the $6.7 million scam that was deemed one of the largest and most notorious fraud schemes in California's history.
read story from The Modesto Bee

January 22, 2008

New Florida Task Force Takes Aim At Foreclosure Rescue Scams
The investigation into a South Florida comapny, National Foreclosure Management, who allegedly stole more than $1.7 million in home equity from at least 80 homeowners who thought the firm would help them save their properties from foreclosure, is just another example of a growing trend that convinced Florida's attorney general that it was time to create a new task force dedicated to stopping foreclosure rescue scams.
read story from cbs4.com

January 21, 2008

Ohio Homebuilder Sentenced For Defrauding Lenders
Cleveland area homebuilder Ed Emery has been sentenced to 34 months in prison for a mortgage fraud scam involving 38 houses in the Solon and Glenwillow suburbs that bilked lenders out of $15 million. Emery falsified loan documents by having the properties appraised at their finished values, when in fact, the majority of the properties were far from being completed.
read story from The Plain Dealer

Flipping Scams Plague New York
A recent series of property flipping schemes have Brooklyn and Queens area home buyers and authorities worried about the increasing number of victims falling prey to mortgage fraud. In one case, Isaac Katz and Yoel Silberstein were caught duping a buyer into paying $370,000 on a house that they had bought earlier that same day for $205,000.
read story from The Daily News

Scam Victim Receives $3.5 Million Judgment
Priscila Nano responded to an advertisement from Foreclosure Options Inc., owned by Moses Crawford III, that promised to bring her back from the brink of loosing her Great Neck, NY home. Months after attending what she thought was a closing to refinance her home, Nano discovered that she had unknowingly signed over the deed to her property, which had gone without payments for months. A judge awarded Nano $3.5 million after Crawford failed to respond to Nano's lawsuit.
read story from NewsDay.com

Missouri Broker Handed Additional Fraud Charges
Donald L. Wilthall, president of Universal Mortgage Inc, has been charged with eight additional counts of mortgage fraud on properties in Minneapolis and St. Paul worth $1.36 million in lender losses. Last month Wilthall was originally charged for leading a fraud ring involving twenty-four properties that cost lenders at least $4.9 million.
read story from The Star Tribune

National Mortgage Fraud Trends Reflected In Eire Market
A local probe in the Erie, Pennsylvania area reflects the national trend of increasing foreclosure scams and mortgage fraud in the subprime market. Officials also blame consumers general lack of understanding about the home loan process contributing to the ease criminals have of taking advantage of first time home buyers and those struggling to keep their homes.
read story from GoErie.com

Avoiding The Identity Theft Juggernaut
In attempts to avoid credit card debt, many people rely on their bank debit cards for all their purchases, from televisions to lattes, however, this strategy may expose you to something much more sinister than high interest rates and complicated point reward programs.
With identity theft becoming one of the fastest growing crimes, Nancy Trejos explores methods on how to protect yourself and your money, and offers her own story as one of the 8.3 million American adults who became victims last year.
read story from The Washington Post

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

e-mail: MortgageWriter@aol.com

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