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Last Updated Friday, May 9, 2008 5:30 PM Texas Time

May 9, 2008

Central Florida Family Guilty of Mortgage Fraud: Mom Gets 18 Years in Prison
Patricia C. Grant has been sentenced to 18 years in prison for her involvement in mortgage fraud. It was a family mortgage fraud affair for Grant, whose husband, Edgar Grant, pleaded guilty for his involvement and was sentenced to two years and her daughter, Geisha Morris is to be sentenced this June.

The family, along with Noveletter Hanse falsified documents to obtain more than $3 million in mortgage loans. Hanse is to be sentenced this June.
Read story from Orlando Sentinel

Nevada Mortgage Fraud Ring Busted
Four people involved in an alleged mortgage fraud ring have been charged with a total of 90 felony counts of fraud involving multiple properties. Cindy Birkland, 38, and Jeffrey Brown worked together through Birklandís company, Sapphire Mortgage while Claudia Koziol, 59, and Bryan Sears, 46, worked out of the Searco Group.
Read story from Las Vegas Now

Victim of Nevada Mortgage Fraud Ring Speaks Out
Cindy Birklandís company Sapphire Mortgage gave a Nevada homeowner a mortgage after falsifying documents to obtain approval and now the homeowner could lose her house.

The ring allegedly led by Birkland, included Claudia Koziol and Bryan Sears who were recently arrested and charged with mortgage fraud while a fourth suspect, Jeffrey Brown is said to be out of the country. Arraignment for the trio is scheduled May 11. Read story from Las Vegas Now

Two Florida Men Admit Falsifying Loan Information Submitted to Argent Mortgage
Cindy Birklandís company Sapphire Mortgage gave a Nevada homeowner a mortgage after falsifying documents to obtain approval and now the homeowner could lose her house.

The ring allegedly led by Birkland, included Claudia Koziol and Bryan Sears who were recently arrested and charged with mortgage fraud while a fourth suspect, Jeffrey Brown is said to be out of the country. Arraignment for the trio is scheduled May 11. Read story from Las Vegas Now

May 8, 2008

Two Florida Men Admit Falsifying Loan Information Submitted to Argent Mortgage
$34 million in mortgage loans originated by David E. Tuggle, Jr. and Eric S. Steinhauser of Hillsborough, Fla. are suspected to involve fraud. The pair submitted more than 300 hundred loans of which 280 were funded. The pair allegedly paid Orson Benn, a former vice-president at Argent more than $100,000 to ensure approval. Bennís trial and that of an account executive, Constance Golder, is in progress.
Read story from Legal News Line

Pair Accused of Secondary Fraud
A pair of former executives of a New York-based mortgage banker have been charged with duping secondary market lenders on mortgage purchases exceeding $40 million.
read story at MortgageDaily.com

Pennsylvania Siblings Indicted on Mortgage Fraud
Anthony S. Fields pleaded guilty to conspiracy and faces up to 27 months in prison when sentenced September 10. Fields was involved in buying at least five properties. He could get leniency if he provides evidence against his sister-in-law Kelly Fields who is under investigation for inflating property values and falsifying documentation. His brother pleaded guilty to the same count last March.
Read story from The Post Gazette

Flipping Scheme May Have Led to Murder
Investigators believe murder suspect Reginald Robinson killed an East Bay, Calif. mortgage broker to cover up the mortgage fraud involved on a Richmond, Calif. 2-story house with an inflated value of $495,000. Robinson has pleaded not guilty. Miguel Angel Alvarado and Javier Gomez were allegedly hired by Robinson to invent a fake person named "Francisco" in order to purchase the house by obtaining a mortgage from JPMorganChase.
Read story from FoxReno.com

Identity Theft Leads to $1million in Fraudulent Mortgages
After illegally obtaining a social security number from a mortgage broker, a woman with the same first name as her victim bought four houses and acquired six mortgages.
read story from CBS Denver News

California Predatory Scam Headed by Convict Ė Ten Accused
Ten San Bernadino County residents are charged with originating more than $2 million in fraudulent mortgages that were sold to Countrywide.

Andrew Whitaker, a convict who served time for real estate-related felony, appears to have masterminded the predatory lending scheme that used straw buyers to buy homes in foreclosure using family members and others to assist. The gang scammed over $300,000 from multiple properties.

Thirteen felony charges were filed against the defendants involving three transactions in Moreno Valley, San Clemente and Simi Valley. Others involved included; Whitakerís daughters, Nicole Whitaker who was president of Nationwide Discount Home Loans and Preferred Metropolitan Escrow Inc. and Katrina Michelle Whitaker, the company secretary; his current wife, Karren Whitaker, dba. Pacific Coast Realty Appraisals, Inc. his former wife, Majgan (Mona) Cox, a licensed real estate broker with ReMax/Allegiance Realty; her son Jesse Sinclair Cox, Jason Harvey, Juleanne Brooks, Phillip Parker and Andre Thomas Silva.
Read story from The Press-Enterprise

Violent Gang Adding Mortgage Fraud to Rap Sheet
A suspected Milwaukee gang leader and murderer has also been accused of mortgage fraud.
Read story from Journal Sentinel

May 7, 2008

Web Site Offers Identity Theft Prevention Program Assistance
A new Web site will help financial institutions implement an identity theft prevention program under the requirements of the Fair and Accurate Credit Transaction Actís new Red Flag Rules.

Two Real Estate Investors and Mortgage Broker Claim Innocence in Fraud Scheme
Federal prosecutors say inflated appraisals, straw buyers and false loan applications were used to scam JPMorgan Chase and Bank of New York out of millions of dollars for dozens of properties in Palm Beach County, Fla.

Berry Louidort, Ralph Duverneau and Boca Raton mortgage broker Lauren Jasky were arrested April 23. So far, Federal agents have found $6.5 million in kickbacks collected by Louidort and Duverneau while Jasky has collected over $200,000 in brokerage fees.
Read story from Journal Sentinel

May 6, 2008

Ohio Man Claims Ignorance in Mortgage Fraud Case
Andrew Pfeifer, 32, formerly of Lexington pleaded guilty to charges of bank fraud, wire fraud, money laundering and falsifying federal income tax information to obtain multiple rental properties and a personal residence worth about $329,000. He faces 30 years and $1 million in fines.

More than $1.4 million was wire-transferred after Pfeifer submitted false mortgage applications; he laundered $434,576 in proceeds and fraudulently obtained a mortgage from First Franklin Bank in the amount of $153,815.
Read story from Mansfield News Journal

Eight out of 10 Defendants Plead Guilty in Cleveland Predatory Scheme
Daryle Rutherford pleaded guilty to his role in a straw buying scheme for seven homes in Cleveland. Six people and two companies have pleaded guilty for their involvement in the $560,000 scam on Argent Mortgage.

One of the straw buyers and iNet Mortgage Company of Fairlawn face trial on May 19.
Read story from WCPN News

Indicted Developer Fled to Avoid Trial
Mark Strodtman, 50, was charged with 11 counts of theft, 11 counts of forgery and one count of racketeering. Authorities believe he fled to Mexico. Strodtman is to stand trial for falsifying loan documents that have resulted in multiple foreclosures in Greeley, Colo.
Read story from Rocky Mountain News

Same Property Used for 16 Mortgage Loans Results in $20 Million Scam
Jacob Kim was arrested in connection with a mortgage fraud ring in New Jersey that defrauded major banks out of $20 million. Ten people have already pleaded guilty.
Read story from CBS News

May 5, 2008

23 New Identity Theft Red Flags Identified by Compliance Coach
Almost two-dozen red flags have been added to software designed to detect fraudulent activity in mortgage loans.

LandAmerica Program Teaches Mortgage Professionals to Spot Fraud
Agent partners of LandAmerica can collect $500 if they catch and prevent fraud in a LandAmerica-related transaction. The course teaches students to recognize red flags of deceptive conduct.

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