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Archives April 30, 2006


Fraud Stories From
Patrick Crowley
Fraud Wire

NY Ring Busted

Eight people have been indicted in a New York mortgage fraud ring that prosecutors say operated for five years and cost lenders and consumers millions of dollars.

The 83-count indictment against members of The Sandella Group, which operated in and around New York City, was announced by New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer and state Banking Superintendent Diana L. Taylor. Spitzer said he has filed a civil forfeiture action that seeks the recovery of more than $8 million from the defendants.

"The scams carried out by these defendants not only harmed targeted individuals and lending institutions," Spitzer said in a statement, "but had the potential to undermine the housing market in the neighborhoods where they practiced their scheme. Protecting New York's real estate market from this kind of fraud must be a priority for all law enforcement."

Spitzer said the total amount of the alleged fraud is still being determined.

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

Mortgage Fraud Defendant Murdered

A Connecticut developer won't be facing charges that he defrauded mortgage lenders out of millions of dollars and stole nearly $4 million from a New York co-op.

Andrew Kissel, 46, was found dead in his Greenwich, Conn., home on April 3, Greenwich Police said in a written statement. He was stabbed multiple times according to the preliminary findings of an autopsy performed by the Connecticut Medical Examiner's Office, police said.

No suspects have been named. Police are saying little about the crime, which they were alerted to by a 911 call from employees of a moving company. The crime is being treated as a homicide. As part of the investigation police drained the swimming pool at the house that Kissel had been renting, but they would not say what they were looking for.

Kissel was free on bond but had been discussing a possible plea agreement on the state charges involving the alleged theft from the co-op apartment building.

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

April 28, 2006

Fraud Training for Fannie Mae System
Interthinx has developed a training program to help users of Fannie Mae's Desktop Underwriter to learn about front-end fraud detection.

Loan Fraud May be Tied to al Qaida
Sharif Omar, the brother of Shawqi Omara -- who has suspected ties to al-Qaida, is accused of a loan fraud scheme and is being investigated for possibly sending money to support the terrorist group.
read story from the Deseret Morning News .

3 Headed to Prison
Mortgage company owners Devon Bowie and Barry Fauntleroy and Peter Port, an attorney and title insurance agent, were sentenced for their roles in a Long Island real estate scam that targeted 152 unqualified borrowers using FHA loans.
read story from the Long Island Press .

Big Buffalo Landlord Busted for Bogus Loans
Robert Palano, a notorious landlord, pleaded guilty to committing mortgage fraud on 104 rental properties he bought for more then $4 million, then abandoning the properties -- leaving lenders and renters high and dry.
read Associated Press story .

Man Gets 30 Months for Fraud on 9 Properties
Peter Faccaro was sentenced to 30 months in prison and ordered to pay $641,523 in restitution as a result of pleading guilty to using mortgage fraud to buy nine properties.
read Associated Press story .

Colorado Title Commissioner in Spotlight
Colorado deputy insurance commissioner Erin Toll is responsible for getting investigations started in the U.S. on fraud in the title insurance industry, a spokeswoman for Rep. Michael G. Oxley, R-Ohio, reportedly told the Rocky Mountain News.
read story from the Rocky Mountain News .

April 25, 2006

Homeowner For a Day
Prosecutors allege Wendy Jean-Francois wrote checks totaling $63,000 -- with only 97 cents in her account -- and obtained the keys to a $328,000 property using a forged letter from a Wachovia Bank manager.
read story from NBC 10 .

Wash. AG Warns of Foreclosure Scams
Ignoring signs, fliers and hand-written notes offering foreclosure help, looking beyond face value and reading thoroughly what you sign were among the tips offered by the Washington Attorney General's Office designed to help delinquent, desperate borrowers avoid foreclosure assistance scams.
read story from The Columbian .

Brokers Among 15 Indicted
Mortgage brokers George W. McRee Jr. and Martin Rosenthal were among 15 people indicted in an Atlanta mortgage fraud scheme.
read story from Rismedia .

Fraud Queen Charged
Rebecca Hauck, one-half of the duo that has ravaged property owners accross the South, faced an Atlanta judge who refused to set her free on bail for the charges of mortgage fraud against her. No word, however, on the King of Fraud, Mathew Cox
read story from The Atlanta Journal-Constitution .

read complete coverage of Fraud Queen Rebecca Hauck at MortgageDaily.com

Trio Stole 150 Homes
Gary Knox, Frank Kelly Ciota and former appraiser Dennis Wiese Jr. pleaded guilty to charges they fraudulently sold more than 150 properties -- reaping more than $3 million.
read story from The State Journal-Register .

Lavish Lifestyle with Other Peoples' Credit
Patricia Angela Davis was apprehended by local sheriff's deputies under her bed clutching a stack of files containing the personal data of borrowers she stole from her former mortgage employer.
read story from the Daily Press .

Brokers Settle for $750,000
Real estate agents Robert Zappone, Joel Rosario and Michael Grady, who operate Mortgage SuperCenter, have settled for $750,000 state charges they pushed unqualified borrower into overpriced houses -- eventually leading to 17 foreclosures.
read story from the Republican-American .

Widow Victim of Mortgage Fraud
James Elliott Coleman, the former president of the Allen Village School -- a charter school, was charged along with James Lynn Woolard for mortgage fraud against a widow and her daughter.
read Associated Press story .

Former Citi Employee Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud
Amy R. Watkins, a former loan processor for CitiFinancial, was sentenced to probation for accepting a $500 bribe from Joshua L. Hart to falsify a verification of employment.
read story from The Herald-Press .

Broker, Wife Steal Applicants' Info
Henry Aguilar, a mortgage broker, and his wife Magda Gonzales, allegedly committed identity theft, even buying and selling homes or getting lines of credit, using the personal information of prospective customers.
read story from cbs 13 .

Growth Spawns Fraud
California's booming Inland Empire has spawned real estate fraud transactions up to a million dollars where appraisal values are overstated and application documents are forged.
read story from The Business Press .

Fraud Pair On Run
Sacramento County Sheriff's detectives are looking for Henry Aguilar, a mortgage broker for D'Core Inc. and Access, and Magda Gonzales, a notary public, for allegedly using fraud to steal property titles.

read story from The Sacramento Bee .

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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