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Last Updated Friday, June 27, 2008 10:00 PM Texas Time

June 27, 2008

Mass. AG Files 106 Indictments Involving Mortgage Fraud
Kenneth Garabedian, 51; Stephen Stapleton, a former employee of Citizens Bank and Cambridge Savings Bank; Erik Tancun, 29, a mortgage broker at Direct Finance; Thomas Itemere, 28, a former employee of Bank of America; and Martha Sass, 46, who worked for Tancun at Direct Finance have been named in the indictments charging them with fraudulent activity involving 40 to 50 properties. If convicted, the defendants face up to 10 years in prison.
Read story at Boston Business Journal

Former Albany Urban League President Indicted on 59-Counts
Aaron Dare was in court again, this time arraigned on a 59-count indictment that accuses him of defrauding banks, investors and homeowners of more than $1.6 million. His girlfriend Ana Montiero was also indicted on 59 counts.
Read story at CBS News Albany

June 26, 2008

Ohio Group Indicted for $15 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Six current or former Dayton-area residents have been named in a 13-count indictment. Julian M. Hickman, 30, Kamal J. Gregory, 34, Jessica A. Zbacnik, 41, Robert Mitchell, 42, Edward Mcgee, 74 and Kenneth O. Mcgee are accused of taking part in a mortgage fraud scheme affecting 33 lending institutions involving 210 residential properties.

Kansas City Couple and Appraiser Avoid Jail Time
Larry Barshaw and wife, Linda Thompson-Barshaw were sentenced to six months home detention and five years probabtion for their role in a mortgage fraud scheme involving one home. The couple was also ordered to pay more than $1.5 million in restitution. Their partner in crime, former appraiser Jeremy Plagman, dba JET Appraisals in Lee’s Summit, was sentenced to 30 days of home detention and two years probation.

Georgia Seeks to Toughen Mortgage Fraud Laws
Georgia lawmakers are discussing ways to “tighten up current laws and legislation” to address the current mortgage crisis.
Read story at My Fox Atlanta

Colorado Woman Refis Elderly Woman’s Home
Eileen Banman, 60, has been charged with theft over $20,000 after gaining power of attorney for a 92-year-old woman and refinancing her home three times.
Read story at The Denver Post

Web of Mortgage Fraud in Indiana
Margaret Luanne Putnam has been named in a lawsuit by Earl McNaughton for inflating the value on a piece of property more than 245 percent. McNaughton, however, seems to have a history of acquiring property by faulty means.
Read story at Journal Gazette

Sounding Off on the Mortgage Meltdown
Reasons for the current mortgage market situation are discussed and analyzed; in particular the charges against Ralph Cioffi and Matthew Tannin.
Read story at Frederick News Post

Charlotte Real Estate Agent Pleads Guilty
Gregory Rankin pleaded guilty for his part in a $15 million mortgage fraud scheme involving 270 properties in North Carolina. He was named in a 50-count indictment and charged with one count of mail, wire and bank fraud conspiracy.
Read story at The Charlotte Observer

Heritage Mortgage Former CFO Pleads Guilty
Terrence Cole, ex-CFO for Heritage Mortgage pleaded guilty to charges of conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering in a $14 million mortgage fraud scheme. Cole and others submitted fraudulent loans to lenders including Mortgage Solutions, First Magnus and Countrywide Home Loans. Cole faces up to 25 years in prison and $750,000 in fines. Sentencing is set for Sept. 22.
Read story at Kansas City Business Journal

All Six Apprehended in Creative Financial Services Scandal
Angel Armendariz surrendered in connection with a $5 million San Diego mortgage fraud scheme, which resulted in $3.9 million in loss to lenders.
Read story at The Desert Sun

Pittsburgh Mortgage Employee Charged with Fraud
Carrie Webb, former employee of West End mortgage company and has been charged with wire fraud conspiracy arising from fraudulent acts while she worked for People’s Home Mortgage. Six former People’s Home employees were charged in February.
Read story at Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

Deputy Constable Position Added for Mortgage Fraud Investigations
Texas officials are adding more firepower to their fight against mortgage fraud.
Read story at The Daily Light

June 25, 2008

National City Loses Mortgage Fraud Case
A bankruptcy judge recently ruled against National City Bank even though the borrowers committed mortgage fraud. The case involved a $250,000 junior lien to Cecelia and Norman Hill on a Oakland. Calif., property, according to a case summary written by Bruce E. Alexander of Weiner Brodsky Sidman Kider PC -- a Washington, D.C.-based law firm that provides mortgage banking litigation analysis. The loan was a stated-income loan used to refinance a previous $200,000 loan -- which was also stated-income, according to Alexander, who has over 26 years of litigation experience and has previously served as in-house counsel at a national bank, a consumer lender and a national residential origination and servicing firm.
Read story at MortgageDaily.com

Construction Co. Owner Pleads Not Guilty in Seattle Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Isaac Palmer, 42, of North Bend, owner of GMI Construction has pleaded not guilty to charges of wire fraud in an $8.5 million mortgage fraud scheme. Palmer stands accused of recruiting straw buyers and falsifying loan documents which is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Others named in the indictment include Brandt and William Anderson, Mustafa “Marc” Khosraw, Kristyn Jupiter Moss and Zachary Joseph Namie.
Read story at PNW News

Michigan Man Has History of Mortgage Fraud Accusations
A Metro-Detroit news publication has noted that one of the last 60 people arrested in Michigan has had news time in their pages for mortgage loan deception. Dennis Tamburo, 39, of Washington Township was recently charged with federal felonies for his involvement in a mortgage-flipping scheme involving 52 real estate transactions worth more than $5.3 million. The publication draws attention to Tamburo’s past history of accusations of fraud.
Read story at Metro Times

June 24, 2008

MERS Transaction Data Added to Help Prevent "Shotgunning" at Closing
Interthinx, Inc. has integrated Mortgage Electronic Registration Systems, Inc. data into its FraudGUARD scoring system to detect suspicious real estate activity.

Operation Malicious Mortgage Gets Mixed Media Attention
The announcement of the results of a nationwide mortgage fraud sting has the media whirling in the numbers.
Read story at Memphis Daily News

Pair Sentenced in Austin Mortgage Fraud Scheme
Silvia Seelig was sentenced to 57 months in federal prison along with Leonard Brown who was sentence to 30 months for conspiracy to make false statements related to a loan. In addition, Seelig was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
Read story at The Statesman

Head of Justice Department’s Mortgage Fraud Division Humble and Smart
Deputy Attorney General Mark Filip will be leading the agency’s mortgage fraud efforts. Filip, a Harvard Law graduate has proven himself to be intelligent, fair and “extraordinarily decent,” according to his colleagues.
Read story at LawJobs.com

Dallas DA’s Title Company Under Investigation
A letter was released that aroused suspicion of the Dallas County District Attorney, Craig Watkins, who owns a Fidelity National Title with his wife. The title company is currently under investigation regarding forged documents and the loss of a man’s home.
Read story at Dallas News

June 23, 2008

Three in North Carolina Charged, Two Plead Guilty
Kelley Anne Spaulding and Elizabeth Whitaker Clement have pleaded guilty to one count each of conspiring to commit wire fraud. Their alleged partner in crime William Montelle Loyd III has been charged with one count of conspiring to commit wire fraud, nine counts of wire fraud and aiding and abetting, six counts of mail fraud and aiding and abetting, and two counts of aggravated identity theft. The trio tried to defraud E-Loan. If convicted, Spaulding and Clement face up to five years in prison and a $250,000 fine. Loyd faces the same plus as many as 22 years in prison and $500,000 in fines.

Illinois Man Charged with Mortgage Fraud in One Count Indictment
Kenneth L. Pittman was indicted last week on one-count of fraud. He faces 30 years in prison and up to $250,000 in fines.

Portland Sees Results with Charges of Fraud in Nationwide Sting
Oregon’s participation in “Operation Malicious Mortgage” resulted in the indictment of four individuals that collectively defrauded lenders out of $50 million. Lee Howlett, 45, Ryan Bonneau, 31 and Marty Folwick, 50, all of Portland; and Jeremy Richardson, 31, of Ridgefield, Wash. have all been charged with varying degrees of mortgage fraud.

South Fla. Seeing Progress in War on Mortgage Fraud
South Florida officials working with the national task force against mortgage fraud are gaining ground.

Michigan Charges 28 Individuals with Mortgage Fraud
Michigan’s attorney general has filed 15 complaints and charged 28 from the Detroit Metropolitan area with various mortgage fraud crimes. Officials Estimate $50 Million in Losses.

Florida Man Indicted on Mortgage Fraud
Juan Gonzalez, 50, of Jacksonville, Fla. has been charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and bank fraud. If convicted, Gonzalez faces up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines. Officials claim he inflated appraisals and pocketed 2nd mortgage payoff funds.

80 in Hawaii Under Investigation for Mortgage Crime
Officials are investigating more than a dozen mortgage fraud cases involving more than 80 people in Hawaii, which ranks 38th in the nation for mortgage fraud. Five people were recently indicted.
Read story at BizJournals

Minn. Mortgage Company Charged with Fraud
International Mortgage Solutions and its owner, Sylvester Luellen has been charged with multiple counts of mortgage fraud for at least 10 properties. Luellen filed for bankruptcy in November, according to court records. He faces suspension or the loss of his license and possible criminal charges.
Read story at The Star Tribune

Fla. Man Pleads Guilty in Alabama Mortgage Scam
Robert B. Guest, Jr., 44, pleaded guilty to his involvement in the fraudulent purchase and resale of more than 200 home in Alabama, Florida and Tennessee. Countrywide Home Loans stands to lose more than $2 million from the loans obtained.
Read story at WKRG News

Top Real Estate Agent Faces Prison
Gloria Alvarez, former agent for Su Casa real estate brokerage in San Jose was arrested last week on 11 felony counts, defrauding three lenders and several clients out of millions of dollars. If convicted, she faces up to 14 years in prison. Her son, Ricardo Alvarez and sister, Patricia Alvarez, were also charged in the case.
Read story at ABC Local News

Michigan Accountant Named in Chicago-area Fraud Scheme
Donald J. Felton, 57, owner of Donald J. Felton Accounting and Tax Services of Oak Park has been charged for his role in the Chicago-area mortgage scam that snared 67 individuals.
Read story at Pioneer Press

Normal Woman Charged in Chicago Sting
Carolyn Thompson, owner of Thompson Tax and Accounting Services of Normal, Ill. has been charged for her role in the latest Chicago mortgage fraud scheme. In her case, the AG is seeking $5.3 million from the 13 defendants.
Read story at Central Illinois Proud

Two Indiana Women Charged with Mortgage Fraud and Then Some
Beverly Ross, 49, and Donella Locke, 58, were indicted on charges of conspiring to commit fraud involving more than 30 houses in Hamilton, Hancock and Marion counties in Indiana. They have also been named in an investigation against two former Bear Stearns hedge fund managers.
Read story at Indy Star

New Jersey Names New Director of Consumer Affairs
David Szuchman, 36, former assistant attorney general in New York took over the director position of Consumer Affairs in New Jersey.
Read story at North Jersey

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