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Archives July 9, 2006



Fraud News Wire

Last Updated Tuesday, July 11, 2006, 12:54 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)

July 7, 2006

Massive CA Fraud Case Emerges
When elderly investors gave more than $17 million to a California mortgage broker, they believed the company was going to make mortgage equity loans.
read story from MortgageDaily.com .

Processor, Broker Sentenced
Mortgage broker Cathy Yocum, loan processor Gene W. Hite and Milton Trice III were each sentenced for defrauding ABN AMRO Mortgage.
read story from The Enquirer .

Fraud Committed While Out on Bail for Fraud
While he was awaiting trial in another loan fraud case, Cleburne Jr. Brigham, aka C.J. and Cleveland, and Melodie MacDuffee allegedly operated an illegal flipping scheme. The two have been indicted on 24 counts.
read story from The Oregonian .

Hatian Paramilitary Figure Arrested
Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, in exile from Haiti for human rights crimes, was arrested for $1 million in mortgage fraud.
read Associated Press story .

$2.7 Million Scam Busted
A cease and desist order has been issued against four people and three businesses, including Carl R. Todd and CRT Enterprises LLC, for allegedly defrauding 17 clients -- including an 84-year-old person, out of $2.7 million.
read story from the Kansas City Star .

July 6, 2006

Anti-Fraud Tools Integrated Into LOS
Interthinx has integrated its fraud prevention tools into ProLender Solutions' loan origination system.

Loan Processor Bribed
Marcus Wiseman was indicted for accepting a bribe to process fraudulent loans while employed at two different financial institutions.

Groups Warn of Massive Fraud Potential
Several groups and associations are warning HUD that states which direct Gulf Coast hurricane funds directly to borrowers a setting up for a fraud disaster.
read story from USA Today .

280 Properties Involved in Case
Jeffrey Tyler Wine, the owner of several real estate companies, plead guilty to a $17.5 million mortgage fraud scheme involving 280 properties.
read story from the Kansas City Business Journal .

Mortgage Broker Avoids Criminal Charges
Brian Simpson, a Pasadena mortgage broker and a minister, was arrested for loan fraud but won't be charged.
read story from the Pasadena Star .

Title Owner to Plead Guilty
Taya Parodo, owner of Team Title Services Inc., is expected to plead guilty of defrauding Home Star Mortgage Services LLC, now Opteum Financial Services LLC, on 30 transactions.
read story from the Bradenton Herald .

Husband, Wife Charged in $1 Million Scheme
Jeffrey and Jeanette Sanders, former owners of A-Plus Mortgage, are accused of defrauding customers and financial institutions out of $1 million.
read story from 3 WCAX-TV News .

Borrower May Be Criminally Liable in Foreclosure Bailout
A delinquent mortgage borrower that entered into a deal with a bailout firm may be liable for the firm's defrauding of lenders in negotiating a lower payoff.
read story from the Miami Herald .

Task Force Nailing Fraudsters
The Columbus Mortgage Fraud Task Force, an eight-agency task force, has been involved in the indictments or arrests of seven people in the past three weeks.
read story from The Columbus DIspatch .

Guilty Plea Leaves Husband Free
Kelly L. Abercrombie plead guilty to charges illegal flipping -- enabling charges against her husband to be dropped.
read story from the Bradenton Herald .

Mortgage Office Raided
U.S. postal inspectors and local police raided Crossland Financial Group's offices -- arresting employee Mitchell Jones in the process.
read story from The Plain Dealer .

Lawyer Wants Her Own Trial
Attorney Kimberly A. Castle asked a federal judge to separate the mortgage fraud charges against her from charges against eight other co-defendants.
read story from the Hattiesburg American .

FHA Fraud Leads to Charges
Philip R. Miskimon and Julie Smith pleaded guilty to defrauding HUD on more than $1 million in FHA loans.
read story from the Rockford Register Star .

$17 Million Fraud Could Get Bigger
The Santa Cruz District Attorney filed 103 felony counts against Michael Schneider because he allegedly lied about investments they made in his company, California Plan.
read story from News Channel 3 .

Pastor Headed to Prison
The Rev. Paul Starnes was sentenced to prison for defrauding banks and his own parishioners in a $600,000 fraud scam.
read Associated Press story .

Fed Order Issued Against Originator
Regulators have banned a former bank loan officer from banking for engaging in mortgage fraud, among other crimes.
read story from MortgageDaily.com .

Investors Given Fake Deeds
Police have filed theft charges against Brent Timothy Baird, who, through his company the Baird Management Group, allegedly stole over $500,000 from people who invested money into homes owned by people who were having financial trouble.
read story from the Courier-Gazette .

Flipper Sentenced
Larry Hensley was sentenced to prison for participating through his company, Creekview Investments, in an elaborate flipping scheme that utilized mortgage fraud to succeed.
read story from the Cincinnati Enquirer .

3,000 Customers Duped
Jeffrey Augugliaro, agreed to a consent judgment with New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer for promoting a fraudulent mortgage scheme and swindling 3,000 customers.
read story from Long Island Business News .

5 Heading to Prison
Washington Mutual Bank, Midas Mortgage Corp. and Trust Corp. Mortgage Co. were among victim lenders in a $2.3 million fraud scheme by Timothy Husvar, David M. Green, Lisa Holderman-Powers and Richard Frazier -- all who were sentenced to prison.
read story from the Cincinnati Enquirer .

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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