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Last Updated Friday, February 15, 2008 5:30 PM Texas Time

February 15, 2008

3 Charged In $25 Million Mortgage Fraud
The Chicago office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation joined other Illinois state officials in announcing that criminal charges have been filed against Raymie Henderson, Nowell Lando, and Augustus Wright alleging that they ran a mortgage fraud scam involving over 150 properties and over $25 million in potential losses to lenders.

Broker Sued for $6 Million in Fraud
A Maryland-based wholesale lender has sued a Virginia-based mortgage broker over claims it fabricated and altered files on nearly $6 million in mortgages. A judgment of more than $15 million is sought.
read story from MortgageDaily.com

Unlicensed Real Estate Agent Pleads Guilty
Dean Juhl pleaded guilty to setting up a home loan where he convinced a Windsor, Colorado couple to purchase a property that they could not afford by giving them $13,000 for the down payment and then Juhl submitted forged documents to the mortgage lender stating that the couple could afford the payments.
read story from The Greeley Tribune

February 14, 2008

Interthinx Provides New Automated Valuation Model
Interthinx Inc, a leading provider of risk mitigation and regulatory compliance tools for the financial services industry has released the latest upgrade to it's FraudGUARD risk mitigation system.

Georgia Man Admits To 1 Out Of 24 Charges
Robin Ligon pleaded guilty to only one of the twenty-four charges of mortgage fraud he was on trial for. The one count he admitted involved forged documents and fraudulent W-2 forms on a $200,000 property loan being funded by Mortgage America, Inc.
read story from The Ledger Enquirer

Man Sentenced For Massive Atlanta Mortgage Scam
Leslie Rector has been sentenced to seven years in prison for co-leading a $112 million mortgage fraud in Atlanta. His accomplice, Phillip Hill, was sentenced earlier and will spend 28 years behind bars for his role in the scheme.
read story from The Atlanta Business Chronicle

Florida Woman Admits To $13 Million Mortgage Scam
Adrienne White pleaded guilty to racketeering charges in a Hillsborough County court room. White faces up to five years in prison for her participation in the mortgage scam that cost Argent Mortgage Company nearly $13 million.
read story from The Tampa Tribune

February 13, 2008

New Report Ranks ID Theft First
Identity theft ranked as the number one consumer fraud complaint in 2007 for the seventh year in a row according to a new list released by the FTC.

Mortgage Fraud's Impact On The Elderly
Rachel Dollar, a legal expert on mortgage fraud, testified before the U.S. Senate Special Committee on Aging, in regards to the unique threat that deceptive lending practices, mortgage fraud, and foreclosure rescue scams pose to the elderly.

Title Company Owner Admits To Fee Scam
Nazzara Bernardo pleaded guilty in a Burlington, Vermont district court to charges that he and coconspirator Richard Shumway used their mortgage brokerage and title company alliance to mislead more than 200 home buyers to pay thousands of dollars in erroneous fees.

4 Convicted For Bilking $6 Million From SunTrust
A jury in Atlanta, Georgia has convicted four people involved in a fraud ring that cost SutTrust Mortgage Company $6 million in fraudulent loans perpetrated over a period of ten weeks. Keith Garner, Gregg Savage, Shalonda Harris, and Latesha Garner now each face a 20 year prison sentence for conspiracy, and an additional 20 years for wire fraud.

New Service May Prevent Mortgage Fraud
The McHenry County recorder's office in Illinois has implemented a new program called "Property Fraud Alert" which allows homeowners to register their property in order to monitor and prevent possible fraudulent activity.
read story from The Daily Herald

Two Firms Investigated In $40 Million Scam
Two investment firms in Otsego, Minnesota have local and state officials concerned, as more evidence is uncovered in a possible mortgage fraud scam involving as many as 130 homes and $40 million in loans.
read story from The Star Tribune

Three Erie Men Charged In Fraud Case
Gregory M. Finney, Francis R. Conti, and Keith A. Rice were indicted by a federal grand jury for a mortgage fraud scam that involved more than 200 Erie, PA properties, with victim losses estimated at over $1 million.
read story from GoErie.com

February 12, 2008

Sharing More Than You Intended?
New Technologies will continue to broaden the array of tools that identity thieves use, such as peer-to-peer (P2P) file sharing, according to officials at the Identity Theft Assistance Center.

Home Flipping Scheme Cost Lenders $18 Million
David Willan, a home renovator, has been charged for running a fraud ring in which he flipped hundreds of Akron, Ohio area homes and defrauded mortgage lenders out of more than $18 Million, which he laundered through the strip club that he owned.
read story from NPR.org

Tampa Man Up To Old Mortgage Fraud Tricks
Dominic Ferrara admitted to Florida prosecutors that he falsified a loan application for a $229,000 home he obtained by using the stolen identity from a man in Oregon. Ferrara has been involved in other mortgage scams, including his ties to Matthew Cox, who was convicted of orchestrating massive real estate scheme.
read story from The St. Petersburg Times

Real Estate Attorney Sentenced In $19 Million Case
R. Joseph Costanzo, a former real estate attorney from Atlanta has been sentenced to 41 months in federal prison for closing fraudulent mortgages and defrauding lenders, such as Bear Stearns Residential Mortgage, out of $19 million.
read story from Fulton County Daily Report

February 11, 2008

Appraisers Feel Pressured To Fraudulently Raise Valuations
Hawaii state regulators are worried that a trend of appraiser coercion over the past few years may have placed the state's housing market on the brink of collapse. A recent study reports that 90 percent of 1,200 appraisers surveyed nationwide state that they have felt pressured by mortgage brokers to inflate property values.
read the The Honolulu Advertiser

Ohio Man Faces 300 Year Sentence
David Willan, owner of several companies listed under the name Evergreen, is facing more than 300 years in prison if he is convicted of a mortgage fraud case that cost numerous northeastern Ohio residents their homes.
read the WKSU News

Federal Prosecutors Accuse 24 in Pittsburgh Frauds
Ann Tonkovich, owner of T&T Financial, is one of two dozen people in western Pennsylvania who have been charged in five separate mortgage fraud schemes that involved hundreds of homes that together are worth more than $13 million.
read the The Beaver County Times

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

e-mail: MortgageWriter@aol.com

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