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Last Updated Friday, August 8, 2008 10:00 PM Texas Time

August 7, 2008

Broker Admits Scamming Lenders
Richard Thomas, 44, pleaded guilty to mail fraud and swindling lenders while he worked as a broker out of Penntowne Mortgage Group.

Fraud Resets Earnings Report
Stewart Information Services Corp. posted a net loss of $28.6 million for the second quarter, following a revision that added $2 million in losses after taxes.

Brokerage Owner Pleads Guilty
Toby Groves, owner of Groves Funding Corp pleaded guilty to defrauding several lenders. Groves owed more than $5 million in mortgage loans to Regions Bank according to a complaint filed in June 2007. If convicted he faces a maximum of 30 years and $1 million in fines.
Read story at BizJournals

West Coast Woman Charged
Melissa Dawn Garcia, 27, has been charged in a scam that lured homeowners in danger of default into giving her about $2,500 to save their home. Garcia said she worked for Vista Funding and Associates and advertised her services in both English and Spanish. Officials believe she made over $100,000. If convicted, Garcia faces more than 30 years in prision. In another case, Garcia was charged with one count of forgery and elder abuse and nine counts of obtaining money by false pretences.
Read story at Monterey Herald

Former Physician, Originator Pleads Guilty
Brian Tray, 52, former doctor and loan officer for a number of companies including Americaís Mortgage Outlet pleaded guilty bank fraud, wire fraud and conspiracy. The fraud cost banks between $400,000 and $1 million. The owner of Americaís Mortgage Outlet, William Edgar, is currently serving a 37-month sentenced in prison for running the scam and another originator has also pleaded guilty in the same case.
Read story at Centre Daily

South Carolinaís Mortgage Fraud Hotline a Hit
In six weeks, the hotline has assisted over 180 consumers with concerns of mortgage fraud.
Read story at The Columbia Star

Virginia Man Helps Unqualified Homeowners
Terrence K. Boothe, 44, pleaded guilty to a fraud scheme that involved help unqualified applicants obtain loans, some of which have foreclosed. If convicted, he faces a maximum of 20 years in prison, three years of supervised release and restitution.
Read story at Hampton Roads

August 6, 2008

Partnership Raises ID Theft Awareness
To raise awareness among the lending community of the new Federal regulations Compliance Coach and ITRC have agreed to promote each otherís services.

Two More Sentenced in Massive Mortgage Fraud
Kristopher Robbins, 28, has been sentenced to two years in prison and ordered to pay restitution, along with Melissa Smith, 45, who was sentenced to one year in prison. The two were involved in the largest mortgage fraud scheme in Minn. that included nearly 200 home and $100 million in loan proceeds.
Read story at The Star Tribune

Aftermath of $18 Million Fraud
Mortgage fraud that results in foreclosure can have a huge impact on even the most affluent neighborhoods. Hereís a story about the mess six people seemingly left behind. All six had pleaded not guilty but two have since changed their pleas to guilty.
Read story at The Herald Extra

Govít Employees Plead Guilty
Sheila Jones, 46, and Temika Gannae Gustus, 27, both of Md. have pleaded guilty to falsifying and creating documents submitted to HUD. Sentencing is set for Jones on Nov. 5 and Nov. 13 for Gustus.
Read story at The Daily Times

August 5, 2008

Gambler Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud
Anthony G. Christou, former owner of Atlas Mortgage Inc. has been sentenced to nine years, nine months in federal prison for his part in a mortgage fraud scheme. From the late 1990s through 2005 he solicited at least $30 million from over 100 investors. He has been ordered to pay his victim $14.3 million in restitution.

Flipper Pleads Guilty
Joseph Kriz, 45, of Wilton, Conn. has pleaded guilty to defrauding banks and homeowners out of more than $8 million. He faces up to 65 years in prison; sentencing is set for October.
Read story at Palm Beach Post

Mortgage Fraud and Marijuana
Erkys Leal, 34, has been arrested for mortgage fraud and involvement in a marijuana grow-house operation in St. Lucie County, Fla. Officials say Leal lied about her income to obtain 100% financing on her $230,000 home. The grow-house operation is linked to Global Home Builders in Port St. Lucie.
Read story at Palm Beach Post

Scam Artist on the Run
Leland Levert, aka Scott Levert is featured on the U.S. Marshalsí wanted list for mortgage fraud. Law enforcement officials are asking for the publicís help. Anyone with information is encouraged to call 1-866-WANTED.
Read story at WKYC News

August 4, 2008

New Fraud Alert Solution for Lenders
Lenders have a new tool in their arsenal to help dissuade mortgage loan fraud. The Loan Fraud Alert Service Pro reveals patterns that are commonly found in mortgage fraud schemes during the application and origination process.

Three Men and a Lawyer Face Decades in Prison
Neil Mohamed Husani, 38, Michael A. Tringali, 46, John A. Yanchek, 48, all of Sarasota and Larry P. Nardelli, 49, of Tampa have been indicted for their role in a massive fraud scheme that involved seven different lenders. The defendants could face up to 65 years in prison and millions in fines.

Two Busted in Operation Stealing Home
Mike Rothweiler of Private Funding Solutions, and Christopher E. Cosma are accused of defrauding homeowners in danger of default. Rothweiler claims he did nothing wrong. Cosma, who worked for America One, Finance Inc., AAPex Mortgage, Flite Financial, Castle Point Mortgage, Accredited Home Lenders and North American Home Loans is accused of defrauding at least 3 different homeowners.
Read story at St. Charles Journal

Countrywide Customer Data Stolen
Rene L. Rebollo Jr., 36, and Wahid Siddiqi, 25, have been charged with stealing personal information on as many as two million mortgage applicants with Full Spectrum Lending, Countrywideís subprime lending division, and reselling the information to mortgage brokers.
Read story at L.A. Times

Whatís the Scoop?
See what real estate professionals and attorneys at the Seattle Real Estate Professionals Blog are saying about fraudulent activity, new laws and legal forms, and the possibility of losing your brokerís license due to ignorance.
Read story at Seattle PI

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