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Archives June 25, 2006

 


 

Fraud
Stories
From
Patrick
Crowley

Fraud News Wire

Last Updated Sunday, June 25, 2006, 08:51 PM Texas Time


Bad Lawyers

A rash of crooked attorneys has descended upon real estate finance.

From Chicago to Connecticut, lawyers are facing charges of stealing from clients, ripping off churches and withholding funds from lenders.

In the most recent case, Stephen Gionfriddo, 55, the former mayor of Middletown, Conn., and a longtime prominent attorney, pleaded guilty Thursday to stealing more than $600,000 from clients of his law firm.

Much of the money was supposed to pay off mortgages. But instead, federal prosecutors say Gionfriddo used the cash to cover gambling losses.

read Patrick's full story at MortgageDaily.com


Atlanta Originators Lose Licenses

Georgia regulators have pulled the licenses of two mortgage brokers as they continue to aggressively attack what has been rampant fraud throughout the state. The latest cases involve poor record keeping and outright fraud.

"We're cracking down," Rod Carnes, deputy commissioner with Georgia Department of Banking and Finance, told MortgageDaily.com.

The state, plagued with a rash of mortgage fraud for years, recently strengthened regulations and stepped up enforcement -- pushing its ranking on the list of states with the most fraud down to No. 3 last year from the No. 1 spot, according to a recent analysis by the Mortgage Asset Research Institute.

"This drop may be due to the aggressive legislation and enforcement Georgia officials have recently put in place," MARI said in the report.

read Patrick's full story at MortgageDaily.com


(subscription required)

June 25, 2006


Realtor Admits Role in Fraud Scheme
Florida real estate broker Mary E. Bolan pleaded guilty to charges of mortgage fraud but contends she committed no crime.
read story from the Bradenton Herald .



Vice President Dupes Lender
Todd A. Kolbe was fired and sued by Opteum Financial Services, where he was a regional vice president, for millions of dollars in losses and now faces sentencing along with two women.
read story from the Bradenton Herald .



Mortgage Fraud Increases Property Taxes
Fraudulent mortgage transactions that enable the sale of a property at an inflated value can cause neighborhood property taxes to increase.
read story from the Austin Weekly news .



Fake Tax Service
Elleanor Spann, operator of Nora’s Tax Service, admitted creating fake tax returns for $412,000 in loans funded by BB&T.
read story from The State .



Woman Caught Forging Ex's Signature
Marie Mathurin was arrested for using an unidentified male to forge her ex-husband's name to $30,000 from a cashout loan.
read story from Newsday .



Fraud Victim Becomes Beneficiary
Aurora Lepe, whose identity was used to fraudulently buy a home that eventually fell into foreclosure, was awarded the $51,000 in surplus equity from the auction sale.
read story from the San Francisco Chronicle .



Title Company Owner, Employee Indicted
American Security Title owner Stephanie Corsmeier, and employee Stacey Lester deny the conspired with loan officers in a down payment scheme.
read story from The Pulse Journal .



Republicans Spar Over Foreclosure Bailouts
Rep. Randy Johnson of Florida said if he wins the chief financial officer election, he would crack down on predatory lending schemes, while his Republican opponent said state regulators may be helpless to overrule federal regulators.
read story from the Palm Beach Post .



Homegold Findings Announced
South Carolina's attorney general said a state grand jury is satisfied that everyone who should be charged with wrongdoing in the Carolina Investors/ HomeGold Financial Inc.
collapse has been charged.
read story from The State .



Former Mayor Stole from Clients
Suspended attorney and former Middletown, Conn., mayor Stephen T. Gionfriddo was expected to plead guilty to diverting more than $750,000 in clients' money -- much from real estate -- for his own benefit.
read story from the Hartford Courant .



Tips to Avoid Sting from Fraud
The Illinois Bankers Association warns prospective borrowers to thoroughly review all of the mortgage documents, stay away from providing false information and avoid closing on any transcations where fraud may be involved.
read story from The Business Journal .



Notarized Deeds to Reduce IL Fraud
A new Illinois mortgage law signed by the governor this month and taking effect Jan. 1, 2007, requires all property deed signatures to be notarized.
read story from the Elk Grove Times .



Ft. Worth Fireman Fingered for Fraud
Anthony "Tony" Lewandowski, a Ft. Worth firefighter, was arrested for allegedly helping seven other defendants defraud financial institutions and mortgage lenders.
read story from the Star-Telegram .



Probation Turns to Prison
Daniel Meachum was ordered to spend 180 days in jail for missing his $850 monthly restitution payments to mortgage fraud victims that was part of his probation sentence last year.
read story from the South Bend Tribune .


June 20, 2006


Borrowers Duped with Phony Program
An eight-count felony complaint has been filed by the Ventura County district attorney against Manuel "Manny" John Perez Jr., the owner of Creative Mortgage Solutions , and Michele Galindo because of operating an illegal "Rent-A-Credit" program without licenses.



Ohio Foreclosure Bill Signed
Ohio's Homebuyer Protection Act, which was signed by the governor, will help delinquent borrowers in the state avoid the loss of their homes from unscrupulous foreclosure assistance firms.
read story from the Toledo Blade .





Mortgage Chief Accused of Ponzi Scheme
Nathan P. Reuter, chief executive officer of Vertical Group LLC, is accused in a $3.7 million lawsuit of operating a Ponzi scheme.
read story from the Columbia Tribune .



FHA Flipping Regulations Finalized
The Federal Housing Administration issued final regulations on property flips, including restrictions on who the seller can be and how long its been since the last property sale.
read story from The Outer Banks Sentinel .



Palm Beach a Fraud Haven
More than $25 million Palm Beach County home loans collapsed in less than 90 days during 2005.
read story form the Palm Beach Post .


 
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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