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Last Updated Friday, April 6, 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

April 6, 2007

Experts Broadcast Latest Mortgage Scams
Mortgage Fraud Radio Series panel will include Ann Fulmer

6 Convicted of Mortgage Fraud
Six people, including Brandon L. Baum, each face up to 20 years in prison after being found guilty of defrauding various mortgage lenders through false loan applications in which home sales prices were inflated to profit from the extra loan proceeds.

read story from The Edmond Sun

Tips to Avoid Fraudulent Mortgages
Paying large fees in advance for home buying seminars and signing documents without having clear knowledge of what they consist of are some of the ways people fall victims to mortgage scams, which typically target those with overextended or bad credit.

read story from Best Syndication

Couple Sentenced for HUD Fraud
Former mortgage broker Jay Snyder and her boyfriend, handyman and electrician Mark Wilkins were sentenced for collaborating in an illegal "double HUD" technique in buying houses to fix that involved inflated sales figures to obtain mortgages worth more than the homes.

read story from The Chattanoogan

Ex-CEO Sentenced for Fraud
Former DreamLife Financial chief executive and mortgage broker, Tony Daniloo, was sentenced to nearly 8 years in prison for defrauding lenders and elderly consumers out of more than $4.5 million for his personal expenses.

read story from the San Francisco Gate

April 5, 2007

Sentenced Brothers Side with Government
In order to reduce their five-years-plus prison sentences for committing mortgage fraud against ABN Amro, James and Eric Byrd agreed to cooperate with federal authorities as a means to prosecute others involved.

read story from The Greenville News

Meteorologist Escapes Prison Sentence
Instead of serving prison time for committing mortgage fraud, Neal Pascal, a former TV weatherman, was sentenced to three years of probation and three months under house arrest.

read story from WDEF News 12

April 4, 2007

Fraud Suit Names Mortgage Insiders
A lawsuit, alleging a mortgage scam in which a woman's personal information was used to buy homes without her knowledge, named attorney Robert Spence, loan officer Annetha Dunn and Carol Daniels of Freemont Investment and Loan in Florida amongst the defendants.

read story from the The Daily Record

3 Admit Lying for Mortgages
Each plead guilty to making false statements on mortgage applications.

ID Theft in Worst Mortgage Fraud
Data security expert seeks tougher action fraudsters.

Mortgage Brokers Admit Fraud
Mortgage brokers Jennifer Henson and Darren Moyer plan to plead guilty to mortgage fraud, while former meteorologist Neal Pascal, associated with Henson, awaits sentencing for his guilty plea.

read story from News Channel 9

2 Charged in ID Theft Case
Michael Hartsell and Patricia McIntosh have ben charged with nearly 200 counts of identity theft involving the use of a mortgage finance company to steal the personal information of over 100 victims.

read story from CBS 8

Family Faces Prison
Safieh Fard, one of hers sons and her sister turned themselves in to authorities after another son of Fard was arrested and now all face prison -- a combined 290 years -- for allegedly not paying taxes on property sales profit and lying on mortgage loan applications.

read story from The Orange County Register

Brothers Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud
Brothers James and Eric Byrd were sentenced to over five years in prison and ordered to pay over $5.6 million in restitution for using false mortgage information and bad checks to defraud seven banks.

read story from the WYFF 4

April 3, 2007

Tool Helps Detect Multiple Closings
Multi-Closing Alert notifies lenders of potential multiple closings.

Fraudulent Doc Detection Courses for Mortgagees
Exclusive AllRegs academy training and designation.

Group Educates on Anti-Money Laundering
The Edcomm Group’s Bankers Academy showcases training at the 12th annual money laundering international conference.

Expert Advises Broker to Dump Borrower
A broker is told, by a real estate columnist, that he will be participating in fraud if he helps a borrower obtain a cash-out refinance loan the borrower plans to let go into foreclosure.

read story from the Los Angeles Times

Landlord Under Investigation for Alleged Fraud
Rex Wells, a large landlord of rental property, is under federal investigation and is subject of a lawsuit by ABN Amro, which alleges that Wells schemed with a mortgage broker, a property appraiser and a title company to get 149 fraudulent mortgages for three investors that were worth $2.5 million more than the houses were worth.

read story from the Journal Gazette

"Foreclosure Rescue" on the Rise
While "foreclosure rescue" scams that strip equity from borrowers have been around for years, they've proliferated over the last five years as the housing cool down has cut the ability of some borrowers to refinance into other loans and left some unable to meet the higher payments caused by interest rate resets on subprime, adjustable-rate mortgages.

read story from the American News

Broker Charged with Duping Investors
Real estate broker Sayeda Moin faces up to 15 years in prison for allegedly defrauding investors out of $600,000 in cash and property by using for her own expenses checks that two investors gave her to cover fees for the purchase of homes and by signing over to her name the property of one investor without the investor's knowledge.

read story from the Queens Chronicle

How to Avoid ID Theft
To avoid being a victim of identity theft, which can affect credit and lead to higher interest rates on or denial of a mortgage, consumers were advised to check their credit card accounts online frequently and take advantage of getting a free copy of their credit report each year to detect any suspicious activity.

read story from WRAL

3 Admit Mortgage Fraud
Bekim Hasipi, Robin Dorman and Jan Marquiss admitted that they participated as "nominee borrowers" in a scheme -- allegedly led by a former manager of certain Countrywide Home Loans and American Home Mortgage branches, Kourosh Partrow -- in which income and assets were overstated on mortgage applications to net at least $750,000 in profits.

read story from the Anchorage Daily News

Conditions for Fraud Exist Everywhere
The mortgage industry is not immune to the conditions that gave rise to the Enron fraud scandal and can likewise suffer financial losses and diminished credibility with creditors.

read story from the Denver Business Journal

Broker Charged with Fraud
Robin Neil Snyder was indicted on charges involving promoting Mortgage Bankers Ltd. as a commercial lender capable of providing "difficult” or “impossible” loans of up to $300 million, when he actually had insufficient funds available and netted over $330,000 on advance fees he required for "origination" of the loans, amongst other things.

read story from The Examiner

How to Avoid Mortgage Fraud
Never signing blank or incomplete documents and being wary of "no money down" or "cash back at closing" investment opportunities were included in the tips the Missouri Department of Insurance, Financial Institutions and Professional Registration issued as a means to encourage consumers and professionals to identify and prevent mortgage fraud.

read story from Springfield Business Journal

FDIC: Homeowners Beware of Ads
The Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. said there are deceptive advertisements suggesting there is a "Community Reinvestment Act Program" that entitles some homeowners to cash grants and that some of these "questionable solicitations" imply the agency's endorsement -- but borrowers should not confuse such with the Community Reinvestment Act and when using their home as a security for a loan should compare various lenders' programs.

read story from News Channel 10

Four Accused of ID Fraud
Michael Alexander Hartsell and Patricia Ann McIntosh, who were arrested last week, and Natasha Chiara Di Lorenzo and William Andrew Padworski, who are already in prison on other charges, are accused of using First Choice Mortgage to access the Experian, TransUnion and Equifax credit agency records to steal information and use it to open credit card accounts in the names of at least 100 of the mortgage company's customers.

read story from the Daily Bulletin

March 30, 2007

Beazer Subpoenaed
Allegations of mortgage fraud at the lending subsidiary of a publicly-traded homebuilder have led to a grand jury subpoena.

read story from MortgageDaily.com

Delinquent Borrowers Deceived
A flyer advertising foreclosure assistance was enough for one borrower to end up losing $60,000 in equity.

read story from CBS4

Bad Broker
Mortgage broker Robin Neil Snyder and his company Mortgage Bankers Ltd. were indicted for taking loan application fees for mortgages that could not be funded.

read story from the Daily Record

Police Promote Legislation
Miami-Dade police detectives, who are overwhelmed with recent cases of mortgage fraud, helped initiate HB 359 -- new legislation designed to crack down on real estate fraud.

read story from the Chicago Tribune

Realtor Scams Clients
Unlicensed real estate broker Sayeda Moin of Long Island was charged with defrauding investors out of more than $600,000 in cash and property.

read story from the Queens Chronicle

Phishing Credit Bureau Databases
Michael Hartsell, through his company First Choice Mortgage, is accused of leading a crime ring that stole $1 million by obtaining personal identification information from credit bureau databases.

read story from the San Diego Union Tribune

Politician Preventing Property Theft
Philadelphia City Councilman Bill Greenlea has introduced a bill aimed at stopping property identity theft.

read story from KYW NewsRadio 1060

Home Grant Ads a Scam
The Office of the Comptroller of the Currency reported borrowers were being fraudulently solicited for unavailable grants for their homes.

read story from the Houston Chronicle

Family Crime Business
Brothers Ramzy and Kamal Moumneh are accused of stealing more than $2 million in home equity while Chuong X. Dam, 33, Demetrios J. Voiklis, 32, and Kimberly Brothers, 28, were alleged to have helped the brothers in foreclosure fraud through First Hanover Mortgage Corp.

read story from St. Petersburg Times

Worst Choice Mortgage
First Choice Mortgage was operated as a bogus company by four people to deceive people into giving up their personal information.
read article at KPBS

read story from KPBS

Dead Fraud
Mark S. Edwards and co-defendant Mark D. Musselman of Vandalia, Ohio-based Phoenix Funding Inc. obtained nearly a dozen loans on behalf of deceased persons.

read story from the Daytona Daily News

read archived blog entries

  Patrick Crowley is fraud journalist for MortgageDaily.com and a reporter and columnist for The Cincinnati Enquirer.

Email Patrick at: PatCrowl ey@FraudBlogger.com
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