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Last Updated Friday, March 9, 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

March 9, 2007

5 Indicted for Pre-foreclosure Scam
Accusations of running a pre-foreclosure scam that defrauded HUD from $1.9 million resulted in indictments for Trudy Peters, a former American Title Insurance Agency escrow officer; John Soto and Larry Smith, ex-Wells Fargo Home Mortgage loan officers; and Maria Felix and Tony Vasquez, respectively former housing counselors for ACORN Housing and Chicanos Por La Causa.

read story from The Arizona Republic

Title Co. Raided for Suspected Fraud
The Federal Bureau of Investigation carried out a search warrant for Alyeska Title, looking for financial documents that could trace possible mortgage fraud.

read story from KTVA 11

7 Indicted for Bogus Mortgages
An alleged $14 million scheme that used straw buyers to obtain purchase-money loans for amounts higher than homes were actually worth landed indictments for Donald L. Jones, Joseph B. Jackson, Donald Matthew Jones, Daniel J. Sattizahn, Catherine L. Dike, William Barnes, and Foday S. Fofanah.

read story from the Dallas Business Journal

Mortgage Cheaters Beware
Due to the pervasiveness and growth in mortgage fraud, the Federal Bureau of Investigation has set out to notify loan prospects and potential insider perpetrators of the fines and prison time that can result from cheating for mortgages.

read story from CNN Money

Judge Honors Mortgage Fraudster's Deal
Because Corey M. Hazel showed up to court the day of his sentencing, after admitting to charges that he led a scheme that bilked up to $2 million from mortgage lenders through inflated property appraisals and other false information, a judge honored the six-year sentence offer he had previously made to the man.

read story from The Columbus Dispatch

March 8, 2007

Publication Helps Lenders Understand Laws
Joint effort provides lenders legal content support services

Mortgage Bankers, FBI Fight Fraud
MBA signs agreement with FBI to promote use of FBI's Mortgage Fraud Warning Notice.

FBI, Lenders Warn Fraud is Illegal
FBI issues Mortgage Fraud Notice in conjunction with Mortgage Bankers Association.

Exec Faces Ponzi Scheme Charges
It is expected that the founder of Pinnacle Development Partners LLC, Gene A. O'Neal, will be charged with orchestrating a Ponzi scheme that bilked investors out of $69 million through false promises that it would go in 50 percent on investments for distressed properties that would bring investors high returns on the half they contributed.

read story from the Wall Street Journal

Builder Employee Accused of Mortgage Fraud
This entry has been removed at the discretion of the editor.

read story from the Pickens County Progress

Judge Pauses ARM Adjustment
A judge prohibited Ameriquest Mortgage Co. from raising a couple's adjustable-rate mortgage payment and foreclosing on their home until the court decides whether the company failed to provide proper notification and documentation that the interest rate would rise sharply on the loan.

read story from the Cape Cod Times

Man Pleads Guilty to Fraud
Michael Jackson, of Missouri, admitted he helped in using straw buyers and rigging appraisals to raise the value of properties -- a scheme that cost mortgage lenders and others more than $400,000 on property.

read story from the St. Louis Post-Dispatch

March 7, 2007

Fleeing Contractor Captured
Authorities have captured Dana Abboud, who had fled to avoid prosecution but now faces charges of defrauding Katrina victims seeking repair on their homes by taking their money and not completing the work or taking their insurance checks and depositing the funds into his business account, rather than submitting them to mortgage companies.

read story from The Times-Picayune

MO Forms Fraud-Fighting Unit
The state of Missouri -- which has been rated sixth nationally in the number of mortgage fraud cases -- has created a task force that will dedicate itself to reviewing complaints and sharing information between regulating agencies to develop solutions to prevent fraud and foreclosures.

read story from the Kansas City Star

More Mortgage Fraud Suspicions
IReal estate finance insiders using inflated appraisals to profit from loans worth more than the properties and borrowers lying on applications for loan approval are contributing to the growing number of reports for suspected mortgage fraud -- which jumped 35 percent in a one-year period.

read story from Builder Online

March 6, 2007

Fraud Investigation Services Expand
Interthinx increases mortgage loan file review team.

FBI Mortgage Fraud Report
Mortgage fraud is worst in the Western region of the country, according to a new report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. The report said mortgage industry insiders are involved in four out of five cases.

MortgageDaily.com subscribers read full story.

Ex-Appraiser Imprisoned for Fraud
To help mortgage brokers maximize the size of loans for refinance borrowers, Lawrence Goodwin admitted to inflating the values of homes -- a move that has landed him a 1-year sentence to prison.

read story from KOTV 6

Mortgage Fraud on the Rise
The incidence of mortgage fraud jumped 35 percent through the year ending in the first quarter 2006, with some of the rise due to skyrocketing home prices and newer mortgage products.

read story from Globe St.

March 5, 2007

Prisoner: How to Avoid Fraud
Brent Barber, who earned a 12-year sentence for masterminding the largest mortgage fraud prosecuted in Missouri and says he could still easily steal anyone's home while in prison, advised that title companies verify with lenders any paid-off loans and for counties to require that deeds be filed in person by the buyer, with ID.

read story from the News-Press.

Lawsuits targeting mortgage schemes
Big lenders and Wall Street investors are going after Arizona mortgage brokers, appraisers, real estate agents, title firms and home buyers for fraud.

read story from The Arizona Republic.

FL Bill Targets Mortgage Fraud
Due to the growth of mortgage fraud in Florida and insufficient detectives to fight it, the state's mortgage bankers are in support of a bill that will make mortgage fraud a specific crime and bring greater punishment even to individuals whose roles in loan scams may have been small.

read story from the Miami Herald.


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  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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