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Fraud News Wire

Last Updated Wednesday, August 30, 2006, 10:32 AM Texas Time

Originator Steals $14 mil from Employer

A Chicago loan originator has been arrested for stealing $14 million from his employer.

Jacques L. Antoine lived pretty well on a salary of just $48,500 a year.

According to federal authorities he lived in a Florida home valued at $1.6 million, cut $800,000 in checks to luxury auto and boat dealers and bought eight pieces of property in Chicago.

Antoine, 58, a native of Haiti who worked as an assistant vice president and mortgage loan originator at Harris Trust and Savings Bank in Chicago, has been arrested for allegedly stealing $14 million from the company between 1998 and 2004.

MortgageDaily.com subscribers read full story

IndyMac Files Fraud Lawsuit

IndyMac Bank has filed a lawsuit alleging it was defrauded on $20 million in Florida mortgages.

Los Angeles-based IndyMac named 41 Akron, Ohio, residents, VP Equity LLC of Stow, Ohio, two other Ohio firms and a Florida developer, appraiser and a law firm in a lawsuit the company filed in Summit County Common Pleas Court in northeastern Ohio.

IndyMac alleges that in a complex conspiracy involving several apparently fraudulent companies and straw buyers, the defendants "maliciously and illegally combined to induce IndyMac into funding the loan transactions," according to a copy of the lawsuit.

The company also claims the defendants knew they were making false representations and concealed facts "that would have alerted IndyMac to the scheme."

read full story

August 25, 2006

5 Common Fraud Scams
An Arizona mortgage company warns prospective borrowers of five common online schemes they should watch out for.

Georgia Fraud Alert
Interthinx is warning its customers about suspicious activity at a Stone Mountain development.

Banned From Mortgage Lending
Michigan has banned several people from mortgage lending in the state because of alleged mortgage fraud activity.
read story at MortgageDaily.com .
(subscription required)

Woman Stole In-Laws' Equity
Megan Deanne Contreras has been arrested and charged with real estate fraud for forging the signatures of her elder mother- and father-in-law and obaining a $65,000 home equity loan.
read story from the Fontana Herald .

2 Men Being Held in $13 Million Scheme
Frank Padilla and Carlos "Charlie" Bent were indicted for allegedly running a $13 million mortgage fraud scheme.
read story from KVOA Tucson News 4 .

Mortgage Fraud Around for Decades
Former prosecutor Anthony Accetta was fighting mortgage fraud 34 years ago as an assistant U.S. attorney in New York and helped convict 70 people and companies.
read story from Denver Post .

3 Years for 1 Fraud
Kym Salisha Saloman will spend nearly three years in prison for using fake idetities to get a $299,000 mortgage loan on her home.
read story from the Times-Dispatch .

FHA a Problem in CO
Colorado has had the highest home foreclosure rate in the country for five straight months because of an FHA program that allows people to borrow more than their houses are worth with little or no money down.
read story from the Denver Post .

Lawyer Charged
Arthur Wootton was disbarred as an Ohio attorney because he stole $360,000 that was supposed to pay off mortgages.
read story from The Plain Dealer .

Mortgage Lender Charged
Tina Rae Musselwhite, a former loan officer with Meridian Lending Inc. and most recently with Capital Mortgage & Financial Group, was the 15th person to be charged in a $7 million fraud scam involving 100 properties.
read story from the Athens Banner-Herald .

FHA Termination Preceded Failures
The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development terminated the FHA approval of Creative Mortgage, Mortgage and International Lending Solutions and Alliance Mortgage Capital just prior to each of the companies being dissolved.
read story from the Denver Post .

16 People Charged in Massive Ring
A Kansas City identity theft ring that ballooned into mortgage fraud and drug trafficing ring has been broken up, with 16 people -- led by Carlton P. Strother, recently charged.
read story from KMBC .

Senator Charged with Fraud
Tennesee State Sen. Jerry Cooper was indicted Tuesday for, among other things, possible real estate fraud.
read story from The City Paper .

Net Branch Broker Pleads Guilty
Antonio Devon Harrison, a former broker with Carteret Mortgage and Allfund Mortgage, and Kathy Frye pleaded guilty to charges related to a $1 million mortgage fraud scam.
read story from the Press-Register .

August 22, 2006

Attorney Stole from Elderly
Mark Morrison, a former county solicitor and a former assistant district attorney, has been accused in a criminal complaint filed by the Pennsylvania attorney general of defrauding his mortgage customers.

Broker Fraud Risk Monitored
BrokerWatch has been launched to help wholesale lenders identify mortgage brokers who have a high risk of submitting packages with mortgage fraud.

Phoenix BBB Creates Mortgage Council
The Better Business Bureau of Central/Northern Arizona announced the formation of the Arizona Mortgage Advisory Council, which it hopes will improve mortgage advertising and selling.
read story from The Business Journal of Phoenix .

Widow Sues Mogul
Solomon Dwek is accused in a lawsuit filed by Rachel Adjmi, the widow of his mentor, of forging names on a mortgage to obtain a $1.5 million loan from Sovereign Bank.
read story from the Asbury Park Press .

Life Insurance May Go to Defrauded Lenders
The widow of Andrew Kissel, who was murdered in April while was on trial for mortgage fraud, has agreed to let a judge decide whether $15 million in life insurance proceeds should go to a title insurance company and two mortgage companies that have already obtained a judgment.
read story from The Advocate .

BBB Fraud Alert
The Better Business Bureau recently issued an international alert to help combat the growing incidences of real estate fraud.
read story from Boca Raton News .

Fraud Soaring
The FBI's mortgage fraud coordinator recently said pending mortgage fraud cases increased 92 percent between 2003 and 2006.
read story from BankNet 360 .
(subscription required)

Millions Involved in Fraud Case
A forensic handwriting expert has concluded that Solomon Dwek likely forged the names of others to secure millions of dollars in mortgage loans.
read story from the Asbury Park Press .

Feds Say Stated Income Loans Source of Fraud
Concern is rising among consumer advocates and regulators over the abuse of stated income loans.
read Associated Press story .

Mortgage Banker Sued for Deed Theft
Mortgage banker Constantine N. "Dean" Gekas, a former employee of Integrity Bancorp Mortgage Co., has been sued for deceiving a borrower out of her home -- and gaining up to $200,000 in the process.
read story from The Patriot-News .

27 Lawsuits Filed Against Landlord
American Home Mortgage Servicing Inc. filed 27 lawsuits against Dennis Szabo.
read story from the Toledo Blade .

Florida Fights Fraud
Florida fraud prevention efforts include the establishment of a Miami-Dade deed fraud unit, recently passed legislation that increased jail time for fraud and failed legislation that would have required notaries public to keep a journal.
read story from the Miami Herald .

Last Defendants in Massive Fraud Case Plead Guility
Ali Abdul Karim Farhat, Abdulamir Berro and Sadek (Sam) Berro were the last of 17 defendants to plead guilty to their roles in a massive mortgage fraud scheme.
read story from The Detroit News .

Accounting Employee Fired for Prior Conviction
Regina Woods, who with her husband Isaac Wood awaits sentencing for being convicted of originating fake mortgages through their company Woodbai Inc, was immediately fired from her accounting job at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill when the chancellor discovered her conviction.
read story from WRAL news .

Deed Forgeries Problem in Florida
Half of the $2 million in Florida fraud claims paid out by Attorneys' Title Insurance Fund in 2005 were due to deed forgeries.
read story from the Miami Herald .

Attorney Stealing from Clients
Mark F. Morrison, a Pennsylvania attorney accused in a second lawsuit of fraudulently misappropriating funds for his real estate clients.
read story from the Tribune Review .

Fraud Defendant Accused of Other Crimes
Emmanuel "Toto" Constant, a defendant in an ongoing mortgage fraud case, is accussed in a lawsuit of sanctioning gang rapes by forces of his right-wing paramilitary group, the Front for the Advancement and Progress of Haiti.
read Associated Press story

Originator Stole from Employer
Jacques L. Antoine, a Haitian citizen and former loan originator, is accused of embezzling almost $14 million from his employer, Harris Bank of Chicago, over a six year period.
read story from The Naperville Sun .

No Chance of Fleeing
Robert Amico, who was convicted of $60 million in mortgage fraud, was denied release pending his appeal because of a weak appeal case and flight risk.
read story from Newsday .

read coverage of Amico at MortgageDaily.com .

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