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Archives May 14, 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)

May 11, 2006

Fraud Prevention is Entertaining
It may not win an Oscar, but Interthinx hopes its new crime investigation parody video series will prevent mortgage fraud.

Fraud Seminar to be Held in Milwaukee
Metavante Corp. hosted its 9th annual fraud seminar at Milwaukee's Midwest Airlines Center

Borrower Analysis IDs Fraud Prospects
CoreLogic has developed IdentityPro, which assesses a borrower's likelihood to commit mortgage fraud by using state-of-the-art behavioral analysis.

Elderly Victims in $50 Million Scam
Michael Schneider is accused of bilking elderly victims out of their life savings in a real estate scam that could be "potentially in excess of $50 million dollars."
read story from abc 7 KGO-TV/DT .

Broker Caught On Camera
Mortgage broker Wayne Martin was recorded by a hidden camera lying about his experience and his criminal background.
read story from abc 7 News .

Manufactured Fraud
The S.C. Manufactured Housing Board on Tuesday revoked the sales licenses of Henry Curtiss, Randy Conner and Charles Michael Roy because of submitting fraudulent loan applications.
read story from The Sun News .

TV Crew Sets Up Sting
Hidden cameras set up by a T.V. news crew allegedly recorded Helio Alfaro trying to charge an illegal $1,500 fee to a prospective customer delinquent on her mortgage.
read story from CBS .

2 Face Judge in Georgia's Largest Fraud Case
Gerald Lumpkin and Zaire Lawson were charged in Georgia's largest mortgage fraud schemes involving 23 defendants.
read story from the Athens Banner-Herald .

Mortgage Underwriter Pleads Guilty
Kym Salisha Saloman, a contract underwriter for GE Mortgage Contract Services Inc., pleaded guilty to stealing identities and committing mortgage fraud.
read story from the Times-Dispatch .

May 7, 2006

Mr., Mrs. Balcom Admit Guilt
Max W. Balcom Jr. and wife Andrea Balcom pleaded guilty to defrauding borrowers out of $170,000 in application fees through their company Source Funding without ever funding the loans.
read story from North Country Gazette .

Hispanic Scam Ends Up With 2 Prison Sentences
Edwin Rivera and partner Brad Marks were sentenced to prison for bilking Hispanic borrowers by charging for work that was never completed.
read story from the Philadelphia Business Journal .

Al Qaida Suspect's Brother Charged with Fraud
Bassam Omar, a second brother of accused al-Qaida conspirator Shawqi Omar, was charged with bank fraud.
read story from The Salt Lake Tribune .

Husband, Wife Teamed Up for Fraud
Dennis Barnaby and wife Pauline Davis were charged in a $672,000 scheme of selling properties they didn't own.
read story from the New York Daily News .

Man Pleads Guilty, to Testify Against Co-Defendants
Malcolm Clark pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit fraud and is expected to testify seven co-defendants.
read Associate Press story .

11 in MS Arrested
Accused of profiting by nearly $15 million from an elaborate scheme, 11 people were arrested in Mississippi.
read story from 16 WAPT abc .

Elected Council Member Arrested
Kelvin Brooks, who has been elected as a City of Tallulah council member, was among 11 people arrested for mortgage fraud in Lousiana.
read story from WLBT 3 News .

Attorney Charged With Fraud
Attorney Dean Sexton has been indicted on charges he defrauded mortgage lenders on more than $1.5 million in loans.
read story from Business First .

Biggest GA Fraud Ever
Real estate developer Brian Dupree has been idenitified as a key player in possibly the biggest mortgage fraud conspiracy in Georgia's history.
read story from the Athens Banner-Herald .

Boats, Cars & Prison
Five officers, employees, and friends of employees attorney a settlement agent Joseph LaMattina were arrested on charges of buying a 37-foot boat, Bentleys and Rolls Royces with funds from real estate finance fraud.
read story from North Country Gazette .

NY Family Indicted
Four members of the LaFortes family of Staten Island are among a group of eight friends indicted on various charges in an alleged $14 million mortgage fraud scheme.
read story from the New York Daily News .

Man Arrested, Girlfriend Charged
Ajesh Shretta, and his girlfriend, Angela Keaton-Goodin, have been charged in a mortgage fraud case where arrests have been made.
read story from WDUN News/Talk 550 .

11 Charged in Multimillion Dollar Scheme
Patrick McGee, Marvin Dawson, Anthony Burroughs, Thomas Griffin, Edward Young, Fransene Berry and Shane Rothery, Kelvin Brooks, Tellis McLin, Lyndon Posey and Leroy Garrett, were charged in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud case.
read story from WLBT 4 .

May 2, 2006

Mortgage Fraud Prosecutor Hired
A special prosecutor has been hired in an Ohio county to focus on predatory lending and mortgage fraud.
read story from The Plain Dealer .

Former Mortgage Co. President Pleads Guilty
James Smith, a former mortgage company president, pleaded guilty to two counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to launder money in a land-flipping scheme involving 13 defendants.
read story from The Republican .

WA Fund for Mortgage Fraud
Washington state's Mortgage Lending Fraud Prosecution Account provides about $1 million a year for authorities to more readily field complaints and scrutinize every step made by every player in the mortgage lending process.
read story from The Daily Herald

Mortgage Broker Duped Out of $400k
FBI agents recently raided the home of Rebecca Solomon, who is accused of stealing at least $400,000 from a mortgage broker who reportedly invested her life savings.
read story from KGO-TV/DT

NY Couple Duped Out of Home
Mitchell Sim, who said he was a branch manager for Southern Star Mortgage, pleaded guilty to deceiving a New York couple who were desperate for cash in a transaction that ended in foreclosure for the new owner.
read story from United Press International, Inc.

Cop Charged With Mortgage Fraud
Police officer Shawn Dillon was fired and charged with saying he was a state trooper on a $300,000 mortgage application.
read story from 5 WPTZ .

Fraud Drives Woman to Mental Illness
Federal and local authorities said they generally lack the resources to investigate isolated mortgage fraud allegations, such as those made by some in a case where Judith Ahrens was driven to mental illness and out of her house.
read story from the Chicago Tribune .

2 of 7 Plead Guilty
Malcolm Clark and Marcy Irby have agreed to plead guilty in a mortgage fraud case that includes seven defendants and is scheduled to go to trial in July.
read story from the Hattiesburg American .

Neighborhood Unfinished & Abandoned by Developer
Milford Hills developer Brian Dupree has been charged along with seven other people for being a key player in a Georgia fraud scheme that has left the neighborhood without basic amenities and full of foreclosures and crime.
read story from the Athens Banner-Herald .

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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