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Last Updated Friday, January 26, 2007, 04:49 PM Texas Time

Crooked Lawyers

A former Kansas elected official who is in trouble along with her attorney husband for alleged mortgage fraud highlights the latest edition of Lawyers Gone Wild.

Katheryn Shields, 60, the former Jackson County executive and her husband, attorney Philip Cardarella, 59, have been indicted along with nine other people on federal charges of "conspiracy and wire fraud for their role in a scheme to engage in mortgage fraud," according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Bradley Schlozman.

"This case represents another tragic example of intelligent individuals -- including lawyers and prominent elected officials -- thumbing their noses at the law in the pursuit of quick and easy cash," said Schlozman, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District if Missouri in Kansas City.

The couple could not be reached to comment, but they have maintained their innocence in published reports.

MortgageDaily.com subscribers read Patrick's full story

Legislator Accused of Foreclosure Fraud

The Maryland Attorney General is looking into claims that a state legislator duped a woman into selling her home to him.

In a lawsuit filed in Anne Arundel County Circuit Court, Teresa Milligan accuses Maryland State Delegate William "Tony" McConkey, a Republican and a real estate broker, of foreclosure rescue fraud.

McConkey has denied Milligan's claims that he somehow tricked Milligan into singing over her house to him.

Kevin Enright, a spokesman for Maryland Attorney General J. Joseph Curran, confirmed to MortgageDaily.com that the attorney general's office is "looking into the matter."

MortgageDaily.com subscribers read Patrick's full story

January 26, 2007

Mortgage Fraud Index Worsens
Overall mortgage risk was low in 2006, compared to previous years -- although fraud risk is on the rise.

MortgageDaily.com subscribers read full story..

January 25, 2007

Convict Tells How to Avoid Fraud
Among the tips Brent Barber, who was sentenced to 12 years for running the largest mortgage fraud scheme prosecuted in Missouri, gave for consumers to avoid being duped in mortgage and home deals was to verify everything of the person offering the services.

read story from USA Today.

Foreclosures Spark Rescue Scams
Real Estate Depot and one of its business partners, David Lievano, are being accused of stealing the home and equity of a man through a foreclosure rescue scam, a problem that an attorney says is already severe and can worsen as the number of foreclosures increases.

read story from the South Florida Sun-Sentinel.

LO Banned for ID, Mortgage Fraud
Banking officials permanently revoked the loan originating license of Kimberly C. Taylor, citing that she falsified documents and stealing customers' financial identities to get loans in their names for her personal benefit.

read story from the Triangle Business Journal.

Man Defrauds HUD
Mobile home seller Donald W. Gupton was sentenced to more than six years for submitting fraudulent loan applications on 150 manufactured homes that resulted in $11 million in federally-insured mortgages.

read story from the News and Observer.

Eliminating Fraud Won't Stop Foreclosures
Foreclosures in Colorado will not stop with stricter enforcement of existing state laws or the elimination of fraud, according to Attorney General John Suthers who instead suggested, among other things, that legislators implement "suitability" rules for mortgage originators to offer borrowers loans that are appropriate to their situation.

read story from the Denver Post.

Man Accused of HUD Scam
Mark Wilkins allegedly pocketed nearly $128,000 through a "double HUD" mortgage scam, in which the title company would prepare two HUD settlement statements, one with the home's actual price that went to the seller and one with the inflated price that went to the home loan lender.

read story from the Chattanoogan.

RE Agent Stole IDs for Loans
Charges against Ida Mae James say the real estate agent stole a few identities, including those of some people she met at church, to buy homes under their names and in the process collect broker's fees, sales commission, and even rent.

read story from the Star Tribune.

8 Charged With Mortgage Fraud
Eight people, including loan officers, have been charged with being involved in a scheme that had one common escrow agent and used stolen identities and fake documents for loans on homes with inflated values.

read story from the Houston Chronicle.

January 24, 2007

Tool Detects Loan Pool Fraud
New analytics help investment banks fight mortgage fraud.

January 23, 2007

Athletes Testify Against RE Investor
A couple of former professional athletes have testified that they lost a combined 350,000 through fraudulent deals orchestrated by Phillip E. Hill Sr., a real estate investor whom the government claims has caused at least $80 million in foreclosures through a massive mortgage scheme.

read story from the Daily Report.

Colo. Brainstorms Foreclosure, Fraud Solutions
In a hearing on foreclosure in Colorado, mortgage banker Jim Spray suggested that laws to tackle the growing number of foreclosures and mortgage fraud should bar prepayment penalties and eliminate the exemption of FHA-approved brokers from the mortgage registration act.

read story from the Rocky Mountain News.

AZ Bill to Fight Fraud
An Arizona bill aims to make it easier for prosecutors to go after mortgage fraud, including the most prominent type, cash-back deals, in which a mortgage is obtained for a home with an inflated value and the extra proceeds are pocketed by the fraud perpetrators.

read story from the Arizona Republic.

January 22, 2007

RE Co. Owners Accused of Fraud
Sotirios "Steve" Gertzas and Radomir "Erik" Ivanovich, owners of Trinity Century 21 Realty, as well as appraisers and title company employees, are being accused of collaborating in mortgage fraud involving inflated appraisals for mortgages that generated extra proceeds pocketed by the company owners.

read story from the South Bend Tribune.

AZ Combats Cash-Back Scams
A task force in the Arizona Department of Financial Institutions will investigate and be on the lookout for ‘‘cash-back'' schemes in which inflated appraisals are used to secure higher-than-sales-price home loans and the extra proceeds are split amongst the buyer, appraiser, mortgage broker and real estate agent.

read story from the Mohave Daily News.

Full Range of Fraud Unknown
While recent research showed a 1,400 percent rise in mortgage fraud-related suspicious activity reports between 1997 and 2005, no clear mechanism exists to fully track and assess the impact of the "growing epidemic" of fraud, and therefore prevent it.

read story from the San Francisco Examiner.

Ex-Pastor Jailed for Flipping Scam
Israel Pena, a former church youth pastor, received a 46-month prison sentence for submitting loan applications with fraudulent or false information to get loans on properties that were sometimes flipped on the same day at a substantial profit.

read story from the Mid-Hudson News.

Mortgage Industry Insiders Perpetrate Fraud
Weak housing markets appear to prompt mortgage fraud, which involves a ringleader, sometimes a lender, and always an appraiser, home seller and buyer, perhaps innocently or on purpose.

read story from Inman News.


read archived blog entries

  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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