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Archives January 29, 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 27, 2006

Home Improvement Scammer Sentenced to 20 Years
Craig Oliver was ordered to spend 20 years in prison and pay more than $2.5 million in restitution for defrauding 68 homeowners out of more than $2.5 million.
read story from Broker Universe .

22 Charged in Atlanta Scheme
More than 20 defendants have been charged in a 181-count superseding indictment with mortgage fraud in a scheme involving more than 40 houses and 230 condominiums.
read story from the Atlanta Business Chronicle .

Builder Busted for Fraud
David L. Layton, a Raleigh, N.C., builder was charged in a federal indictment with mortgage fraud, while James T. Davis, operator of Easy Financial Services, has already been arrested for his role in the scheme.
read story from The News & Observer .

Michigan Co. Raided by Gov Agents
Source Mortgage, in Farmington Hills, Mich., was raided by secret service agents Thursday for suspected fraud.
read story from WXYZ Action News .

January 26, 2006

Collateral risk-analysis and management technology vendor CoreLogic said it has sold out its Servicing Management and Secondary Marketing Executive educational Webinar on managing fraud.

January 25, 2006

Fraud Among Top Mortgage Banking Issues
U.S. mortgage bankers have placed mortgage fraud among the top issues to be dealt with this year.
read story at MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

Title Insurance Exec Sentenced for $5.7 Million Mortgage Fraud
Former Title Insurers Agency vice president Thomas Kurzenberger Jr. was sentenced to six years' prison for stealing escrow deposits for personal expenditures -- including $162,000 spent at an Illinois adult night club.
read Associated Press story .

Fraud Quartet Arrested
Two-time Miami Beach commission candidate Terrence Rosenberg, along with Shannelle Brantley, Leighton Brown and kingpin Manuel Rosado Jr., were arrested for their alleged roles in Miami mortgage fraud and surplus foreclosure scams.
read story from the North County Gazette .

January 24, 2006

1 Year in Prison for DiPonzio Co-Defendant
Janet Faticone, who along with Denise Strollo and Ronald DiPonzio was charged with defrauding various lenders, was sentenced to one year in prison and ordered to pay more than $100,000 in restitution.
read story from RNews on Demand .

January 23, 2006

Ohio Going After Bad Brokers
Ohio governor Bob Taft has beefed up the state's mortgage broker regulator's staff and is promoting legislation targeted at crooked brokers.
read story from The Plain Dealer .

Michigan County Uncovers Stolen Title Scam
Scams that have robbed borrowers of their homes are the focus of an Oakland County crackdown by government officials.
read story from 7 On Your Side Action News .

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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