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Archives February 26, 2006


Fraud Stories From
Patrick Crowley
Fraud Wire

Option One, Accredited Stung by Drug Ring
Federal prosecutors in Ohio have snared their first guilty plea in their investigation of a large drug ring that used a mortgage brokerage to launder some of its ill-gotten funds.

Kimberly Kay McGinnis, 42, a former employee of mortgage loan brokerage American Funding Group in Dayton, Ohio, has pleaded guilty to conspiracy to launder money and failing to file a tax return. She faces up to four years in prison.

McGinnis is one of 17 people charged in what federal and local authorities have described as the largest drug ring in Dayton, a city about 40 miles north of Cincinnati.

The ring, led by a man prosecutors identified as Earl Marshall, allegedly sold more than 150 kilograms with a potential street value of more than $7.5 million. Working with the operators of American Funding Group -- Glen and Debra Hurst -- McGinnis was charged with laundering about $120,000 of drug money by using phony documents to secure mortgage loans.

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

Full Service

Fraud Forms
An accountant has been charged with running what prosecutors have described as a clearinghouse for fake documents -- including phony pay stubs -- used to obtain mortgages, loans and federal assistance.

Abrar Haque, 44, of Berea, a Cleveland suburb, was selling the bogus documents for $75 to $300, according to the U.S. Attorney's office in Cleveland. He has been charged along with 15 others in a 79-count federal indictment. The charges against Haque include racketeering, wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, health care fraud and conspiracy.

Also charged were Haque's wife, Nuzaira Haque, and two of his business partners, Mohammed Shahabuddin and Omar Abedrabbo. Ten employees, former employees and clients of Haque's accounting firm were also charged with offenses that include wire fraud, mail fraud, false statements and aiding and abetting immigration fraud.

In addition to running an accounting business, Haque is also one of the founders of a Cleveland area mosque and Islamic school. The charges against him include allowing school employees to avoid paying taxes by not withholding taxes from their salaries.

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

February 24, 2006

Broker Admits Guilt
Mortgage broker Clarence D. Harris plead guilty to criminal charges in an $872,000 fraud scheme.
read story from the Cincinnati Post .

February 23, 2006

10th Person Faces Fraud Charges
Phillip Nicholson Weary was the last of 10 people to appear in court over charges of mortgage fraud.
read story from the Hattiesburg American .

Man Applies for 300 Fake Loans
Real estate investor Brent Michael Barber admitted he participated in an elaborate scheme to use fraudulent documents and inflated appraisals on more than 300 fraudulent loans worth almost $20 million since 1999.
read story from The Kansas City Star .

February 22, 2006

RE Broker Busted
Theresa Lewis, former owner of Realty One, was sentenced to three years in prison for persuading borrowers to purchase foreclosed properties financed with fraudulent loans.
read story from News 14 Carolina .

10 Indicted
Richard B. Lucas, along with nine other defendants, was charged with defrauding mortgage lenders by using inflated appraisals on loans.
read story from the Mississippi Business Journal .

Land Contract Co. Owner Guilty
Rod Wolford Sr., the former owner of the Wolford Group Inc., was convicted of duping more than 200 land contract homebuyers out of their homes.
read story from the Des Moines Register .

Woman Steals ID of Disabled Retiree
Donna June Baker, who allegedly used the stolen identity of a disabled retiree to buy a property, must have surprised to learn that the closing was actually an FBI sting operation.
read story from the Atlanta Business Chronicle .

February 21, 2006

Fraud Prevention Integrated Into LOS
A provider of mortgage origination technology has integrated fraud prevention services into it services -- enabling one West Coast thrift "to confidently check and close loans without potential fraud becoming an issue."

Michigan Becoming Fraud Hot Spot
Michigan mortgage fraud jumped $17 million during a recent two-year period.
read story from The Detroit News .

Guilty Pleas in $67 Million Scam
Terry Singh Mughar and Jason Madow plead guilty to bilking mortgage lenders in a $67 million South Florida hotel loan scheme.

read story from the Orlando Sentinel .

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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