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Last Updated Friday, July 4, 2008 10:00 PM Texas Time

July 4, 2008

Bank Shuts Down Mortgage Unit
A Maryland bank has disclosed that it will close its mortgage unit. The move follows the ouster of the company's chief executive after the company reported losses tied to loan fraud.

AmericasBank Corp. made the disclosure in a filing today with the Securities and Exchange Commission.

The Townson, Md.-based company said the board of directors of subsidiary AmericasBank decided Wednesday to "reposition its mortgage lending operation by integrating the operations of the bank's separate mortgage unit into its existing banking centers and closing the separate mortgage unit."
Read story at MortgageDaily.com

July 3, 2008

HELOCs at Increased Risk for Fraud
The ITAC is alerting consumers to the possibility that their line of credit could be hijacked as thieves move to identity theft on large lines of credit, which are often large balances that are rarely used.

FTC to Examine Identity Theft Victims' Experience
The Federal Trade Commission hopes to get a better look at the remedies available to victims under current law.

Broker Denies Fraud Charges
Rick T. McCullough, 35, a licensed mortgage broker and owner of CactusCash Inc. was indicted on charges of fraud, theft, securities fraud, sale of unregistered securities and transactions by unregistered dealers or salesmen. He allegedly took the equity from homeowners when they refinanced to invest in his company and apparently spent it. If convicted, he faces up to 25 years in prison.
Read story at BizJournals

July 2, 2008

Former Prosecutor/Mortgage Broker Sentenced for Fraud
Joseph James Scafidi, 53, of Warminster, Penn. was sentenced to 18 to 36 months in state prison and five years probation for stealing mortgage payments, writing bad checks and forging a judge’s signature. He has also been ordered to pay $42,000 in restitution.
Read story at Philly.com

Chicago Mortgage Fraud Ringleader Allegedly Threatens Others
Bobbie Brown, Jr., 44, is under house arrest at his mother’s home. Officials say several individuals surrounding the case have said they were threatened by Brown.
Read story at Medill Reports

Kansas City Man Gets Probation for Mortgage Fraud
James R. Rhoades, 49, assisted Raymond Zwego setup a mortgage scheme to defraud borrowers and inflate property values, obtaining profits of $400,000 from one home. Rhoades was sentenced to five years probation for his part.
Read story at KansasCity.com

Minn. Mortgage Company Owner Pleads Guilty
John M. Rubischko, 36, pleaded guilty to defrauding several lenders, including loans for vehicles, out of $1.8 million. Rubischko owned and operated Family First Mortgage, All Fund Mortgage and MortgageBanc.us. If convicted, he faces 30 years in prison and a hefty fine.
Read story at Star Tribune

Chicago Fraud Suspects Appearing in Court
Court hearings have begun for some of the Chicago-area suspects charged. 19 of the 67 charged have pleaded not guilty thus far.
Read story at ABC Local News

July 1, 2008

New Identity Theft Red Flags Identified
Based on new facts that have come to light from new fraud schemes, Compliance Coach has added 11 new red flags to its software, resulting in 60 red flags that are sought by its fraud prevention solution.

More Details in Mass. Mortgage Fraud
An alleged ringleader was trying to leave the country in a private jet with his family and $1.3 million of someone else’s money. Allen Seymour, 39, has been charged with wire fraud and interstate transportation of property taken by fraud and was arrested last February. Also charged in connection to this case are Erik Tancun, former employee of Direct Finance, Thomas Itemer, 28, who worked at a Bank of America branch in Worcester, Mass. and Kenneth Garabedian, 51. In addition, Raymond A. Desautels III, an attorney pleaded guilty to wire fraud in a related case. The investigation involved as many as 60 properties in Worcester County, Mass.
Read story at Telegram.com

June 30, 2008

Identity Theft Concerns Weigh Heavy: No. 1 Fear
Unisys Security Index found that identity theft is the primary security concern among respondents in nine of 14 countries and misuse of credit or debit card information was the first or second greatest fear in 12 out of 14 countries.

New Jersey Woman Defrauds Members of Greek Community
Crystal Velitschkow, 50, pleaded guilty to money laundering in a $3 million mortgage fraud scheme that defrauded at least 20 people. Her boyfriend, Spiro Pollatos and others have been charged. She faces up to 10 years in prison.
Read story at Courier Post Online

Texan Neighborhood Racked With From Fraud
With 12 houses on one street foreclosing to fraud, residents said they couldn’t stand it any more. Five people have since pleaded guilty to mortgage fraud.
Read story at WFAA

Five in Sacramento Indicted for Mortgage Fraud
Sheryl Hayden, Robert Martinson, Rick Villegas, Melissa Villegas and Kathleen Delapp have been charged with defrauding lenders, including Aegis Mortgage and IndyMac Bank, by submitting false loan applications for dozens of homes.
Read story at The Sacramento Bee

County Clerk’s Office in Ark. Displays Personal Info on Web
Pulaski County clerk’s office is posting public records on its Web site that could be detrimental to the safety of its resident’s identities. The court’s records links lead to a database that displays social security numbers and other sensitive information.
Read story at Arkansas Matters

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