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Last Updated Friday, April 20, 2007, 04:49 PM Texas Time

April 20, 2007

Broker Guilty of ID, Mortgage Fraud
Mark D. Musselman, who ran mortgage brokerage Phoenix Funding Inc., was found guilty of using the identities of recently dead people and forging appraisals, among other tactics, to obtain fraudulent mortgages that caused Interfirst Mortgage Lenders losses of over $1 million.

read story from the Dayton Daily News

Mortgage Borrowers Susceptible to ID Theft
Authorities advise recent customers of an Albertson's in Alameda, Calif., to check with their banks to make sure they were not among the victims of an identity theft ring that could leave some with insufficient funds to pay their mortgage.

read story from CBS 5

April 19, 2007

Pressured Appraisals Prompt Foreclosures
Prominent trade groups representing appraisers agree that inflated appraisals are behind the surge in foreclosures, but they are also calling on federal regulators to crack down on lenders and loan officers pressuring appraisers to raise property values for overpriced loans to be approved.

read story from the San Jose Mercury News

Couple Accused of ID, Mortgage Fraud
Emerick Martin and his wife, Donna Martin, face up to seven years in prison if they are found guilty of stealing a man's identity to obtain over $1 million in mortgages, and get credit cards as well as a $90,000 loan for a Mercedez-Benz.

read story from the Queens Chronicle

April 18, 2007

MA Advances in Foreclosure "Rescue" Case
The Massachusetts attorney general obtained a preliminary injunction against 15 individuals and companies, including Primary Mortgage Resources, which prevents them from engaging in further alleged fraudulent foreclosure-rescue transactions.

read story from the Boston Globe

OR Fines 2 Mortgage Insiders
Oregon officials issued cease and desist orders to Local Point Financial for offering mortgages without being licensed and to Collin Clayborn for submitting false information on his loan originator license application and using names of other properly licensed originators on appraisal requests.

read story from the Portland Business Journal

April 17, 2007

Fraud Imminent on FHA Subprime
The Bush administration's plan to offer federally-insured subprime loans to low- and middle-income borrowers opens the door to fraud -- as it would do little to assure mortgage insiders do not mislead consumers on terms of their loans, HUD says.

read story from The Washington Post

"Bankrupt" Man Performs Mortgage Scam
While claiming he was broke in a "no asset case" bankruptcy filing, Randall Bert Foshie convinced potential borrowers he had millions to fund loans and collected over $200,000 in "up-front" money without ever making the loans.

read story from Sacramento Bee

Man Faces Prison for Fraud
Ishmael Grant faces six to 10 years in prison after being found guilty of obtaining a third of $10 million in mortgages a fraud ring received through stolen identities.

read story from South Florida Sun-Sentinel

Fraud Partner Receives Tougher Sentence
After submitting phony information on mortgage applications for properties that did not even contain a home, Corey Nance was sentenced to five years in prison, while his co-defendant Robert Ellertson is serving a 33-month sentence.

read story from Salt Lake Tribune

School Sues for Mortgage Fraud
Seton Hall Law School's Center for Social Justice filed is suing Blu Financial Group, Inc., Urban Upliftment, Born Asiatic and Greenfield Assets Holdings, alleging that the companies' purchased distressed properties and quickly sold them at inflated prices to dupe first time borrowers.

read story from The Star-Ledger

April 16, 2007

Lawyer Admits Mortgage Fraud
Real estate attorney Chris Olewuenyi pleaded guilty to being involved in a scam in which more than $6 million in mortgages was obtained through inflated appraisals, stolen identities, forged documents and straw buyers, among other things.

read story from The Star-Ledger

How Elderly Can Avoid Fraud
With senior citizens often being prey to a variety of scams, Arizona Attorney General Terry Goddard recently advised them to keep their Social Security numbers private and never issue them out to callers such as those identifying themselves as jury commissioners or through e-mail.

read story from the Eastern Arizona Courier

2 Banks Fund Fraudulent Loans
Irwin Financial Corp. will potentially take a $4.7 million hit due to a commercial loan in which it discovered misrepresentations about collateral and doesn't expect repayment on --which allegedly belongs to yacht broker Michael Vorce, who had dozens of loans backed by high-end boats he did not own or never existed and is believed to be the subject of fraudulent loans at Macatawa Bank.

read story from Grand Rapids Press

Man Admits HUD Scheme
Robert Green pleaded guilty to preparing false tax returns to help straw buyers qualify for home loans, for properties with inflated values, from Citywide Mortgage Co. that were insured by the Department of Housing and Urban Development.

read story from The Times-Picayune

Couple Accused of Rescue Scam
Mortgage broker Peter Torkild and his wife, Julia Torkild, allegedly duped a delinquent couple out of their home by falsely promising that they could stay in their home after their loan went into foreclosure and pay rent until they could repurchase the property -- but were instead some months later when they could not meet the high rent payments.

read story from the Bellingham Herald

3 Get Federal Charges
Federal authorities have taken over the case of Carmella Lessegue, Andre Lamerique and Judy Bonas, who are accused of stealing the identity of a former nun to get mortgages for properties and intending to swindle her out of her own home.

read story from the Boston Herald

Slow Laws Incite Fraud
Oceans Funding is about to close doors due to funding loans that all went into foreclosure and prosecutors say were obtained through forged documents -- the company is one example of how the failure of state and federal regulations to keep up with the change in the mortgage industry has incited countless opportunities for fraudulent mortgages.

read story from the Indianapolis Star

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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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