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Last Updated Friday, March 21, 2008 5:30 PM Texas Time

March 21, 2008

Suffolk Grand Jury Indicts Man for Mortgage Fraud
A lawyer from Walpole, Mass. was indicted for mortgage fraud for his involvement in alleged stolen mortgage payments from a lender and for forging a signature on a check.
read story from Banker and Tradesman

Former Mayoral Candidate and Wife Charged with Mortgage Fraud
Richard Culbertson, who ran for mayor and lost in Eagle Mountain, Utah’s November election, and his wife, Kathleen, were charged with three counts of communications fraud and one count of pattern of unlawful activity for using fictitious names and inflated incomes on their home loan papers. Richard admitted to forging signatures after drawing on information from a “straw buyer” to buy a home in Eagle Mountain.
read story from Deseret Morning News

Another Victim of Pony Mortgage Fraud Scheme Speaks Out
Traclyn Sharrit is just one more victim of the vast multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud scam in California that was operated by Eric Pony, his sister and five other cohorts. Sharrit found that documents had been forged under her name, and she wound up paying more than $2,000 a month because of the fraudulent acts committed against her. The attorney general of the state is suing the conspirators for $20 million.
read story from abc12.com

Brokers Guilty of Mortgage Fraud in Ohio
James Sims, owner of County Home Mortgage of Ohio, was convicted for mortgage fraud involving the purchase of a $490,000 house, while Frederick Watkins of Premier Mortgage Ohio pleaded guilty to charges concerning 23 houses with a loan value of $9.8 million. Sims will be sentenced in April, and Watkins’ sentence is scheduled for May.
read story from The Plain Dealer

March 20, 2008

Interthinx Offers Free Training Film to Mortgage Professionals
Interthinx, a company that seeks to prevent mortgage fraud and assess risk involved with dealings in the industry, announced the release of its new video, “Fraud Angels,” which makes an effort to help train current mortgage market employees and is a parody of a popular television show. Interthinx is offering the film for free to mortgage industry professionals and is completing almost 700 pre-orders for the training film this week.

Two San Francisco Men Get Prison Time for Mortgage Fraud
Kurt Johnson was sentenced to 25 years in prison, while Dale Heineman received nearly 22 years for their participation in a mortgage fraud scheme in San Francisco. Up to 3,500 homeowners and at least 20 lenders in 35 states became victims of their convicted crimes of fraud and conspiracy to commit fraud.
read story from San Francisco Chronicle

Ohio Mortgage Brokers Found Guilty of Fraud
James Sims and his mortgage broker company, County Home Mortgage of Ohio, were found guilty of mortgage fraud for his fraudulent acts in deals for multiple homes in Ohio. Fred Watkins, Fred Patterson, Shirley Rodgers, Ed Emery and Eloise Anderson have also been found guilty for their involvement in the case that included 23 houses with a total loan value of $9,818,000.
read story from WKYC.com

One San Diego Couple Tells of Mortgage Fraud Victimization
Eric Pony and his sister, Paulette Pony, are both in prison now and face up to 24 years behind bars for their mortgage fraud scheme in California, but they did plenty of damage to their victims first. One couple, Lydia and Jay Payne, thought they were receiving a $200,000 loan at a 5.6 percent fixed rate from Pony and his company, Lifetime Financial, but they were actually given an adjustable near 8 percent and are likely to come out with a loss of around $20,000.
watch video from Fox6.com

New Legislation in Maryland Will Affect Mortgage Industry
The Maryland Senate passed legislation that establishes mortgage fraud as a crime that can be prosecuted. Many of the bills designed in the unanimous decision seek to ban the types of loans and fraudulent practices that helped lead to the foreclosure crisis in the state.
read story from The Washington Post

Task Force Will Take No More Mortgage Fraud Cases
The Minnesota Financial Crimes Task Force will no longer take mortgage fraud cases, and the U.S. Attorney's office in Minneapolis is holding a meeting today to go over how federal and state laws can combine to tackle the crime more efficiently. One reason for the task force dropping these cases is a lack of staff and funds, and the entity of nine investigators could even see its current $750,000 annual budget fall to $300,000 for fiscal 2009.
read story from TwinCities.com

March 19, 2008

State Seeks $20 Million from Broker
California's attorney general has arrested several individuals and shut down businesses connected to Los Angeles mortgage broker Eric Pony, who, along with his sister and his mother, has been accused of bait-and-switch tactics and fraud on thousands of loans. The state is seeking $20 million in penalties and restitution.
read story from MortgageDaily.com

Brother and Sister Turn Themselves in for Mortgage Fraud
Siblings Eric and Paulette Pony, who were at large in a mortgage fraud scheme in California, turned themselves in at the San Bernardino County Jail Tuesday night. Both have a bail set at $2 million.
read story from The Press-Enterprise

Strict Regulations Needed in Light of Mortgage Fraud Case
The mortgage fraud scam in California led by Eric Pony of Lifetime Financial Inc. has resulted in the need for more stringent regulations in the mortgage business. Investigator Eric Bremner, who helped cracked the case that caused closure of seven brokerage and escrow companies, uncovered evidence of fraud in just one instance of a crime that has the potential to put a damper in the national economy.
read story from The Denver Post

Five Charged in Mortgage Fraud Case
John Pereless, Kevin Deickmann, Ramon Iglesia and Susan Pereless (aka “Susan Coonan”) were arrested in New Jersey, for their involvement in a mortgage fraud scam that cost lenders more than $4 million in bad loans. Erza Lustado also turned himself in at the Monmouth County Prosecutor's Office. All five culprits were charged with one count each of second-degree conspiracy to commit theft by deception and second degree theft by deception.
read story from The Independent

Seven Caught in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Attorney General Jerry Brown uncovered a mortgage fraud scheme that included seven companies and thousands of homebuyers in California, and it resulted in the arrests of seven individuals. Brown’s office wants penalties and restitution of more than $20 million in the scam that was led by real-estate agent Eric Pony.
read story from The Monterey County Herald

Metro Police Employee on Administrative Leave for Fraud Investigation
Lt. Juanita Goode, an employee of Metro Police for 16 years, is on administrative leave because of an investigation on her as to her involvement in mortgage fraud. She is charged with fabricating her total income so that she would qualify for a home loan.
read story from Las Vegas Sun

Five of Seven Suspects Arrested in Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Eric Michael Pony, sister Paulette Pony, Jacob Shawn "Coby" Franco, Eli Hassine, Carol Binnie Pencille, Sibpun Ampornpet and Jason Imperial Burbidge all had warrants out for their arrests by the San Bernardino County Superior Court for their participation in a mortgage fraud scheme throughout California. All but the Ponys were arrested, and the two still remain at large. A lawsuit has been filed by the State attorney general that claims an estimated $20 million in penalties and restitution for the crimes committed against the 60 victims who have been identified thus far.
read story from The Press-Enterprise

Brown Cracks Down on Mortgage Fraud Scandal
Attorney General Jerry Brown is tackling a mortgage fraud case that has left a large number of California residents victimized. The companies accused so far in the concentrated effort include Lifetime Financial, Nations Mortgage, Greenleaf Lending, Virtual Escrow, Olympic Escrow and Direct Credit Solutions.
read story from The Los Angeles Times

March 18, 2008

Jamaican Couple Caught in Mortgage Scam
Delroy Patterson will face charges in the U.S. after he and his wife fled South Florida to Jamaica to escape the consequences of mortgage fraud of millions of dollars. The former Jamaican cop and his wife and mortgage broker, Yvette Scott Patterson, are accused in a $10 million mortgage scheme. Scott Patterson allegedly netted roughly $300,000 in loan closing and mortgage broker fees and yield premiums in correlation with the fake mortgages.
read story from Caribbean World News

March 17, 2008

New Mortgage Fraud Alert Service Available From MARI
The Mortgage Asset Research Institute, a company of ChoicePoint, announced the release of its new mortgage fraud alert system that can halt fraud before it affects a lender’s loan portfolio. The service enables lenders and investors to spot risk, fraudulent patterns and concealed relationships among transaction members.

Couple’s Accounts Frozen for Mortgage Fraud Scandal
Kurt and Lisa Heintz, who own Great Lakes Broker Funding, face dozens of lawsuits for their mortgage fraud scam in Grand Blanc Township, Mich. The FBI has frozen many of the accounts belonging to the Heintz couple.
read story from ABC12.com

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