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

May 16, 2008


Eleven Indicted From Boston to L.A. on Fraud Charges in Massachusetts
More than 20 properties in Massachusetts are involved in a $10.6 million mortgage fraud scheme that involved players from across the nation.

Eric L. Levine, J. Daniel Lindley, Ernst Appolon, Andre Junior Lamerique, Widner Lamarre, Ralph Appolon, Daniel Appolon, Jermaine Blake, Jean Noriscat, Samuel Jean-Louis, and Latoya Haltiwanger have been charge with anywhere from 7 to 62 counts of fraud and/or money laundering.

If convicted, they could face a minimum of 5 years in prison and millions in fines.



5 Indicted for Construction and Kickback Scheme
Zions First National in Eagle, Idaho was one of the victims of a $20 million fraud scheme involving five people, two of which worked for Zions. Straw buyers were used to obtain a total of 49 residential construction loans.

Two of the five were due in court Wednesday. Christopher A. Upchurch was charged with bank fraud and payment of commissions for procuring loans and Barbara L. Cobos has been charged with bank fraud.
Read story at 2 Eyewitness News





Three More Named in Construction and Kickback Scheme Indictment
Three of the five charged with mortgage fraud have made plea agreements. Nicholas R. Gossi, a bank employee and mortgage broker, Nicholas R. Coats, a real estate agent, and Max Reich have been identified as cohorts in the construction loan mortgage fraud scheme.
Read story at IdahoStatesman.com





May 15, 2008


Prevent Fraud With a Phone Call
Additional borrower contact could help prevent fraud according to Frank McKenna, co-founder and Chief Fraud Strategist of BasePoint Analytics.
Read newsletter at BasePoint Analytics





California Mortgage Broker Indicted on 11 Counts
Jeanetta M. Standefor, owner of Pasadena-based Accelerated Funding Group is accused of swindling $18 million out of hundreds of black investors in California, Nevada and Georgia. If convicted, Standefor faces 180 years in federal prison.




May 14, 2008


Developer Pleads Guilty: Gets at least 10 Years in Upscale California Scam
Charles Elliot Fitzgerald, 47, is to be sentenced August 18 on seven counts of felony fraud charges. Fitzgerald faces a maximum possible sentence of life in prison and a $14 million fine. A single count of running a criminal enterprise carries a mandatory 10-year prison sentence.

The scam is estimated at $50 million and has the potential to double that amount once the dust settles. Several others are said to be involved in the scam including Fitzgerald’s business associate Mark Alan Abrams, 45, and Kyle Grasso, 36, a real estate agent.

Lehman Brothers Bank filed a federal lawsuit against Fitzgerald and Abrams involving 86 properties and up to $100 million in losses.
Read story from The Monterey Herald





Trial Deferred to August for Trio in Pennsylvania
Three men pleaded not guilty on charges stemming from mortgage fraud on nearly 200 properties in Erie. Gregory M. Finney, Keith A. Rice and Francis R. Conti are accused of conspiracy and fraud. Finney, a convicted felon, also faces money laundering charges.

Two other men pleaded guilty in the case March 31; Frank Kartesz II, 39, faces up to 35 years and his business partner, Robert L. Dodsworth, has been sentenced to six years and four months in prison.
Read story from The Erie Times





May 13, 2008


Alt-A Fraud Worse than Nonprime
Mortgage fraud is far more common in Alt-A loans than in nonprime or conforming loans, according to a new report from the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Annual losses from mortgage fraud could be in excess of $10 billion.
Read story from MortgageDaily





Springdale Ohio Mortgage Broker Sentenced to 15 Months
Mortgage fraud on multiple properties is sending the former owner of Airline Union’s Mortgage Co., Jay Sullivan to prison for more than a year. Sullivan reportedly had help from Troy Clements, owner of American Funding, leaving lenders with a loss of over $2 million.
Read story from The Enquirer





May 12, 2008


Two Sentenced in Twin Cities $2.3 Million Mortgage Fraud
Jodilee M.Lindberg, 50, and Sean B. Leaf, 35, are two of six that bilked Twin Cities area banks out of more than $2.3 million on multiple properties. In one case, a $1.33 million loan from Washington Mutual and a $378,555 loan from Associated Bank were given after fraudulent documents were submitted.

For her part, Lindberg has been sentenced to four years’ probation and eight months of community confinement with work release and Leaf will be spending 18 months in prisons with three years’ probation. They along with the four others have been ordered to pay more than $2.3 million in joint restitution.
Read story from The Star Tribune




Ohio Hit Hard by Fraud and Foreclosure
Since 2007, 171 people have been indicted for a total of $41.5 million in fraudulent loans in Cuyahoga County. A former federal prosecutor says it wasn’t an accident and that the subprime-lending model was more like a Ponzi scheme.

Twenty-eight percent of Cleveland’s 15,000 mortgages in 2005 were originated by one of five mortgage companies that have since closed or bought by another company: Argent Mortgage, Long Beach Mortgage, New Century Mortgage, Aegis Funding and People’s Choice Home Loans.
Read story from The Plain Dealer




Mortgage Fraud Here To Stay
The mortgage industry is likely to see cycles of mortgage fraud as long as greed is in the hearts of man, as told by Stephen Holben.
Read story from Rocky Mountain News




May 11, 2008


N.J. Bill Makes Residential Mortgage Fraud a Crime
Mortgage fraud in New Jersey could cost violators fines up to $15,000 and five years in prison if new legislation is approved. The bill is on its way to the Assembly Financial Institutions and Insurance Committee.
Read story from Gloucester County Times






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