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Last Updated Thursday, April 12, 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 12, 2007

IN Nears Permanent Protection Unit
Attorney General Steve Carter says consumers benefit from the unit’s focus on mortgage fraud.

IN Suing Broker, Closer for Fraud
Rokita takes action against alleged fraudulent investment practices for real estate totaling more than $1.4 million.

Subprime Underwriting Incited Fraud
A scheme in which now-imprisoned Brent Barber bilked lenders out of more than $11 million through 300 fraudulent mortgages is one example of how lax underwriting by subprime lenders invited outright fraud and is now having repercussions of numerous defaults and foreclosures.

read story from Reuters

Mortgages Increasingly Tied to Terrorism
In addition to mortgage fraud growing throughout the nation, authorities say the crime is regularly showing up in terrorism investigations.

read story from FrontPageMagazine.com

Ex-VP Embezzles for Mortgage
Edward G. Mawhinney, a former vice president of National Penn Bancshares Inc., received a 45-month prison sentence after admitting to embezzling $6.1 million to buy a car and pay off a mortgage.

read story from the PhillyBurbs

Women Accused of ID, Mortgage Scam
Fanny Velasquez and her daughter Paola Garzon were arrested on charges of stealing a woman's identity to buy a home.

read story from the San Bernardino County Sun

MA Sues Mortgage Co.s
Amongst those Massachusetts is accusing of foreclosure rescue scams and inflating home values for mortgages worth more than the properties are Primary Mortgage Resource, Universal Plus Realty & Financial Services and Home Pride Management.

read story from the Boston Herald

IN Focuses on Multiples in Fraud
Rather than focusing on the masterminds of mortgage fraud, Indiana's secretary of state has taken the approach of going after multiple players -- with one recent complaint holding a loan broker and title agent accountable for fraudulent loans.

read story from the Indianapolis Star

Home Improvement Scam Targets Elderly
Jerry Ponsky is accused of defrauding elderly borrowers who responded to home-improvement ads and were put into unaffordable mortgages based on inflated property appraisals.

read story from The Plain Dealer

Straw Borrower Recruiters Convicted
David Thomas and Dean Thomas were convicted for participating in a mortgage fraud scheme, led by Phillip Hill, by recruiting straw buyers to purchase homes with inflated home values.

read story from The Daily News

Mortgage Fraud has Ripple Effect
The mortgage fraud scheme masterminded by Phillip Hill not only defrauded lenders out of millions, it also hurt the value of several Atlanta neighborhoods that contained homes that were foreclosed on due to the scam.

read story from Bits of News

E-mails Used in Borrower ID Theft
E-mails claiming to be from mortgage companies that ask for updates of borrowers' personal information and disposed documents are some of the methods used by crooks who steal identities.

read story from the La Canada Valley Sun

Builder, Mortgage Insiders in Fraud Probe
An investigation by authorities involves Mark Strodtman and his associates from JS Real Estate LLC for allegedly conning borrowers into buying homes out of their price range and Charles Brandt and Jessica Feliciano from JC Distinguished Finance for allegedly falsifying documentation to approve mortgages.

read story from the Greeley Tribune

Alleged Mortgage Fraudster at Large
Authorities are looking for Darin DeVoe who is accused of obtaining money from investors for his personal use through his mortgage company, which promised to manage investment properties but stopped making payments on investors' mortgages.

read story from The Tribune

DA Discusses Mortgage Fraud
The growth of mortgage fraud will be one of the topics DeKalb County District Attorney Gwen Keyes Fleming will address Tuesday at a Brookhaven Home Owners and Neighborhood Business Alliance lunch.

read story from Atlanta Journal-Constitution

April 10, 2007

Mortgage Fraud Shouldn't Come as a Shock
An article implies that the mortgage and real estate industry set itself up for the current wave of foreclosures and mortgage fraud through playing up homeownership as an investment, which generated more demand for loans that got worse as the industry struggled to put borrowers in homes they could not afford.

read story from the Motley Fool

WA Law Fights Fraud
Substitute Senate Bill 5826, awaiting signature by the Washington governor, intends to fight identity theft by allowing consumers to freeze unauthorized access to their credit reports while easing the process for them to unfreeze it for the purpose of obtaining a mortgage.

read story from the Insurance Journal

Credit Card Scheme for Mortgages
Authorities fear that mortgage prospects who want to improve their credit score to qualify for a mortgage will turn to companies that claim to improve their scores by adding the prospects' files to the credit card accounts of people with good payment histories.

read story from the Los Angeles Times

Family Alleges Home Improvement Scam
A family faces foreclosure on their home of 40 years due to allegedly being victims of John Evans, a contractor who offered to help fix their burnt home but tricked them into a second mortgage and never completed the work.

read story from NorthJersey

Ex-Builder Admits Fraud
John E. Barrington, who changed his name to hide previous mortgage fraud and other convictions when launching Barrington Homes Inc., admitted to charges involving fraudulent loan closings for homes that were never built.

read story from the Orlando Sentinel

IN Scrutinizing Fraud
With the wave of mortgage fraud cases throughout Indiana, the attorney general has brought disciplinary complaints against 170 appraisers while 640 investigations of real estate brokers and salespeople have been initiated.

read story from the Indianapolis Star

22 Collaborated with Cox
The massive mortgage fraud schemes of Matthew B. Cox, who is to plead guilty after being on the run for several years, allegedly involved at least 22 co-conspirators.

read story from the St. Petersburg Times

FHA Loan Fraud on the Rise
A lack of oversight and aggressive enforcement are contributing to the growth of fraud and abusive lending practices on mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration.

read story from MSNBC

Ex-Fugitive Admits Mortgage Fraud
Matthew Bevan Cox, who was on the run for three years, pleaded guilty to fraud and other charges related to schemes in which obtained multiple loans on the same properties through fraudulently erasing prior mortgage liens and assuming the identity of the owners.

read story from MSN Money

April 9, 2007

Economist: Beware of Mortgage Scam
A chief economist for real estate at Texas A&M University warned of a loan scam in which troubled borrowers sign the deed to their home under the promise that they can remain in the home while paying rent -- but instead the fraudulent lender sells the home and borrowers are left roofless.

read story from the San Antonio Express-News

Woman Escapes Prison Sentence
Angela Burtnett's 10-year sentence was suspended after pleading guilty to theft involving loan fraud schemes and she will instead serve a probation sentence while repaying victims.

read story from the Iowa City Press-Citizen

Woman Admits Fraud
Bemilda Asuncion "Linda" Ruiz faces four years in prison after pleading guilty to identity theft of immigrants who she promised to help get "green" cards for and tricked some of them into taking out mortgages to pay her.

read story from the North County Times

Mortgage Co. Linked to ID Theft
Officials are looking for Eric Scott and Angela Samuels who allegedly made credit card purchases through a man's stolen identity -- and the ID theft is suspected to be linked to a relocation mortgage company.

read story from NJ.com

Avoiding Mortgage Scams
With many borrowers falling into foreclosure last year, a consumer advocacy official suggests contacting a trusted lawyer prior to signing any documents related to the sale of a home, including when signing over a deed -- which victims have mistakenly believed would free them of mortgage liability as well.

read story from the Denver Post

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

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  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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