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Last Updated Friday, April 18, 2008 5:30 PM Texas Time

April 18, 2008

Real Estate Agents Admit Guilt in Twin Cities Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Thomas J. Balko and Jonathan E. Helgason, co-owners of Roseville, Minn.-based TJ Waconia real estate company admitted their involvement in one of the largest mortgage fraud schemes in the Twin Cities area and had to turn over 141 properties to the city.

The two men pleaded guilty to mail fraud in a three-year scheme involving 162 properties and $35 million in mortgages. Helgason faces a sentence of up to 12 1/2 years and Balko faces a sentence of up to 10 years.
Read story from The Star Tribune

April 17, 2008

Man Admits Involvement in Home Relief Fraud
Fabian Lamont Thorne, 35, is facing up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine after pleading guilty to one-count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Thorne admitted that while working at Prestige Mortgage, he along with Anna Thorne, Sterling Palmer and others attempted to defraud homeowners who were in danger of losing their homes to foreclosure.

April 16, 2008

1,300 Mortgage Fraud Cases Under FBI Investigation and Rising
The FBI says mortgage fraud investigation is on the rise and it needs additional resources to keep up with surge. FBI Director Robert Mueller addressed the senate with his concerns of the increase, subprime practices and reverse home mortgages.
Read story from The New York Times

Mortgage Broker Guilty of Bank Fraud
Shawn Brennan of Freeman, N.J. admitted to submitting fraudulent income information for a borrower that resulted in a $367,400 mortgage loan. Brennan could face a maximum of 30years on prison and a fine of $1 million or twice the aggregate loss to the victims or gain to the defendant.
Read story from News Transcript

April 15, 2008

Mortgage Fraud Index Jumps
Mortgage fraud surged in several states -- lifting the first quarter FraudBlogger Index higher.

Mortgage Professionals Charged with Fraud
Former credit union loan officer Diane Shelton, real estate agent Terry Hart and licensed real estate appraiser Mark Brown were charged with mortgage fraud for an operation they ran in Illinois that netted them more than $1.9 million on as many as 40 properties. If convicted, each defendant could face up to 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million per offense of mail fraud committed.
read story from Originator Times

Man Cleared of Mortgage Fraud
Wesley A. Snyder, a mortgage broker in Reading, Pa., has been cleared of mortgage fraud by U.S. District Judge James T. Giles, who ruled that the banks that underwrote the mortgages had no reason to monitor Snyder. Prosecutors had claimed Snyder defrauded 811 borrowers and 31 investors out of $29.2 million. Snyder did, however, plead guilty to mail fraud last November.
read story from The Centre Daily Times

Mortgage Fraud Investigation Takes Front Seat
Investigation of mortgage fraud has become a top priority in the state of Colorado as policing efforts are becoming more intense at both the state and local levels. The Colorado Division of Real Estate is the main watchdog for the licensing and regulation of real estate brokers, appraisers and mortgage brokers.
read story from The Colorado Springs Gazette

Arraignment Date Set for Mortgage Fraud Defendants
An arraignment date has been set for William Bowling Jr., Georgia Bowling and Gregg Russell for their conspiracy of mortgage fraud on a mortgage broker in Kettering, Ohio. The three cohorts swindled $3.5 million to purchase 24 four-unit apartment buildings and now could face 20-year prison terms and fines up to $250,000 plus restitution.
read story from Middletown Journal

April 14, 2008

Ohio Man Incarcerated for Defrauding Those Nearing Foreclosure
Randall L. Webb was sentenced to 15 months in prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme that victimized homeowners about to lose their properties through foreclosure in the Dayton and Cincinnati areas of Ohio. Webb offered help to his prospective clients for a charge of between $600 and $700, which he collected up front.

Authorities Warn Others of Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Butte County, Calif., District Attorney Mike Ramsey and County Clerk-Recorder Candace Grubbs gave warning to local property owners nearing foreclosures to beware of others offering assistance during the processes after a common scheme in the area was made known to Grubbs. So far, two people have been charged in the scam that brought the cohorts profits from homeowners in Alameda, Fresno and Napa, Calif.
read story from The Gridley Herald

Two Guilty Pleas of Mortgage Fraud in Pennsylvania
Aaron Thompson and Randy Carretta both pleaded guilty to one count each of participating in wire fraud for their involvements in two separate mortgage fraud operations in Pennsylvania. Both men face up to 20 years and prison and fines of $250,000.
read story from Media Newswire

Man Uses Mortgage Fraud to Leave Buyers in Plights
Dwight Jenkins used the real-estate boom to his advantage to net $1 million on six properties in Dorchester, Mass. and leave his victims in housing crises. Jenkins already had a federal record as a bank fraud felon.
read story from TradingMarkets.com

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