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Archives April 23, 2006


Fraud Stories From
Patrick Crowley
Fraud Wire

Investors Force Mortgage Co. Into Bankruptcy
A family that invested $4 million in a mortgage brokerage firm that finances nontraditional loans has forced the firm into bankruptcy amid allegations of a Ponzi scheme.

The U.S. Bankruptcy Court for the Northern District of California has ruled in favor of appointing trustees to oversee operations of the San Jose-based California Plan Inc. The firm's president, Michael J. Schneider, is named in the ruling, which effectively forced California Plan into Chapter 11 bankruptcy.

According to federal court documents, Schneider allegedly bilked members of the affluent Aspromonte family of Santa Cruz by telling them he would invest money in high risk mortgage loans that were secured by property. He would then collect fees from servicing the loans.

But Schneider then allegedly did not invest the money as he promised and instead converted the money for his own use.

read the rest of Patrick's story at MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

Pair Arrested for Stealing Titles
Police in California recently ended a six-month investigation with the arrest of the owners of two California mortgage companies. The men are accused of forging mortgage documents and notary seals to steal equity from homeowners.

Sacramento police have announced the arrest John Wilfred Curley, 37, owner of JC Lending, and Muhammad Adenwala, 30, owner of Mountain View Lending and a certified notary public, on suspicion of real estate fraud.

"Investigators determined that Curley and Adenwala utilized information from customers to falsify quitclaim deeds," Sacramento Police said in a statement. "The suspects, without the customers' knowledge, would record the forged documents and obtain loan proceeds from the false information."

Police say they aren't sure how many people were victimized by the alleged scam.

read the rest of Patrick's story from MortgageDaily.com .
(subscription required)

April 20, 2006

Mortgage Co. President Helped Sell Home From Dead Man
Lawrence V. Lynch, the former president of Affordable Mortgage Co., admitted receiving a $16,500 kickback for helping to create bogus loan applications documents to facilitate the sale of a property from a dead man.
read story The Republican .

3 Plead Guilty
Real estate appraiser Dennis Wiese Jr. joined Gary Knox and Frank Kelly Ciota have pleaded guilty for their participation in a scheme to sell run-down properties at inflated prices.
read story from The State Journal-Register .

Indiana Law Targets Foreclosure Scam Companies
A new state law has Indianapolis state and city government officials cracking down on foreclosure scam firms.
read story from The Indianapolis Star .

Mortgage Brokers Guilty of Fraud
Nathan Brinkle, doing business as Brighter Homes East Inc., has been sentenced only to probation for mortgage fraud while Adam Kerr, a mortgage broker doing business as Platinum Mortgage II and later Pearl Mortgage, has pleaded guilty to his role in the scheme.
read story from the Kansas City Business Journal .

2 Mortgage Brokers Among 15 Indicted
Fifteen people, including appraisers David R. Bobo and Paul Jaretsky Jr. and mortgage brokers George W. McCree, Jr. and Martin Rosenthal, have been indicted for participating in a mortgage fraud scheme where 60 homes were sold at inflated prices to straw borrowers.
read story from the Atlanta Business Chronicle .

April 18, 2006

Collapsed Co.'s Chairman Free on Bail
John "Jack" Sterling, the former chairman of HomeGold Financial Inc., has been released on $100,000 bail after being charged with hiding the true financial condition of the now-collapsed subprime lender.
read story from The State .

read complete HomeGold coverage from MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

Family Among Victims
Frank "Kelly" Ciota has pleaded guilty to defrauding mortgage lenders and family members on more than 150 fraudulent transactions totaling $8 million.
read story from the Journal Register .

Couple On Run
Mark Louis Evans and Susan Lynn Peterson, who are accused of creating phony tax returns in an attempt to get a mortgage, have skipped town and are being sought by authorities.
read story from WTVM9 News Leader .

Investor Lawsuits Prompt F
ed Fraud Probe
ens of investors have alleged fraud in lawsuits filed against Darin V. DeVoe, who is missing, and his companies, Home Owner's Solutions, Home Owner's Trust and The DeVoe Group -- prompting regulators to look into the operations.
read story from the Denver Business Journal .

April 14, 2006

Broker, 2 Builders Get Off Easy for Fraud Scam
Mortgage broker Rose Perdue and builders Steven Parisi and Donald Kishbaugh were each sentenced only to probation for forging signatures and documents and inflating home prices on transactions with 41 Poconos borrowers.
read story from the Pocono Record .

Bill Targets Foreclosure Scam Co.s
The Illinois senate has passed a bill that will help delinquent borrowers back out of bailout deals from foreclosure scam companies.
read story from the Chicago Tribune .

Mortgage Prospect Data Stolen
Neal Elbaum and Ralph Donza, former employees of Old Merchants Mortgage Inc., and current employee Carlos Orellano have been arrested in connection with a theft of mortgage lead information from Old Merchants which were then used for Elbaum's & Donza's own mortgage company, Old Commonwealth Mortgage LLC.
read story from the North County Gazette .

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

Email Patrick at: PatCrowley@FraudBlogger.com
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