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Last Updated Friday, August 29, 2008 10:00 PM Texas Time

August 29, 2008

Mortgage Industry Cleanup
Rising reports of mortgage fraud are evidence that the industry is trying to stamp out fraudulent activity. There was a 42 percent increase of fraud reports in the first quarter of 2008, according to the Mortgage Asset Research Institute; a sign that efforts are being made to confront and stop those who are corrupt.
Read story at Fox Business News

Title Officer Sentenced Five Years
Rick Peterson, former title officer for Parkway Title and Freedom Title in Kansas, has been sentenced to five years in jail and $2,500 in fines. Peterson and Ray Zwego, who has pleaded guilty to 11 counts of wire fraud, were part of a scheme that falsely represented a county executive’s home as sold at $1.2 million when its true sales value was $707,000.
Read story at BizJournals

Gang Activity Includes Mortgage Fraud
Gangs are becoming more sophisticated in their thievery; committing identity and credit card fraud along with mortgage fraud. It’s reported that the “Bloods” and “Crips” have added mortgage fraud to their long list of scams and terrorism as they begin expanding their territory into the Washington D.C. area, as reported by the Washington Post.
Read story at The Washington Post

August 28, 2008

Broker Steals Origination Fees
Robin Neil Snyder defrauded commercial mortgage clients out of $650,000 in fees for loans he never intended to originate. Snyder was sentenced to 97 months in prison followed by three years of supervised release plus restitution for 13 counts of wire fraud, money laundering and obstructing justice.

Real Estate Expert Exposes Fraud
Lindsey Hunter, former Detroit Pistons guard is a partner in a company that is being investigated by the FBI for committing mortgage fraud. Ralph R. Roberts, a well-known Realtor and more recently mortgage fraud analyst was the first to take the case to law enforcement officials.

August 27, 2008

“Operation Whose House” Nabs Fugitive
Delroy Patterson, 47, was extradited from Jamaica last month. Patterson and his wife Yvette Scott Patterson headed a $10 million mortgage fraud scheme that involved more than 30 properties in Broward County Florida. Patterson pleaded guilty and was sentenced to 24 months in prison followed by one year of supervised release. His wife is currently in the process of being extradited.

August 26, 2008

Fraudsters Helped Unqualified Applicants
Terri J. Hart, 45, April Hall, 34, Thomas Walter Thacker Jr., 68, and Shiquandra Ann Brooks, 35, have been accused of falsifying documents in order to obtain 100 percent financing for applicants that otherwise would not qualify. Hart and Hall were named as owners of Carriage Crossings, Inc. and ABC Trading, Inc., both companies that were used in the scheme. If convicted of the mortgage fraud, each face up to 35 years in prison, three years supervised release and up to $1.25 million in fines.

Fifth State Sues Countrywide
An investigation by Indiana's attorney general has led to a lawsuit against Countrywide. Indiana, which alleges mortgage fraud and customer deceit, is the fifth state to sue Countrywide since June.

Attorney General Steve Carter announced that a lawsuit was filed by the state in Steuben County Court against Countrywide Home Loans Inc. and parent Countrywide Financial Corp.

Carter claims the Bank of America Corp. subsidiary engaged in deceptive and misleading practices that led to borrowers obtaining potentially risky and costly loans.
Read story at MortgageDaily.com

Mortgage Stacking Scheme
Kevin F. Carey, 48, has been accused of refinancing four homes without paying off the existing liens several times over, also termed as “stacking.” Using properties in Massachusetts, Carey caused a $2 million loss to a title company.
Read story at Enterprise News

Basketball Star Investigated for Fraud; More Details
Lindsey Hunter, former Detroit Pistons guard, is a partner in a company that is under investigation for mortgage fraud activity. Hunter’s attorney said he is a silent partner and had no involvement in any fraudulent activity; including a deal that helped one man who earns $35,000 a year obtain a mortgage for a $1.25 million home.
Read story at Crain's Detroit

FBI Predictions Realized
In September 2004, FBI Criminal Investigator Chris Swecker told reporters that trouble was brewing in the mortgage industry given the low interest rates and rising home values. The question is: Did the FBI have enough resources to contend with the sudden and massive rise in mortgage fraud?
Read story at LA Times

Last Minute Plea Change
Gregory M. Finney changed his not guilty plea to guilty of fraud, conspiracy and money laundering after a 40-minute hearing. Finney, president of the now defunct A & M Homes, faces a maximum of 55 years in prison and a $1.75 million fine. Sentencing is set for November. Robert L. Dodsworth and Frank Kartesz II have also pleaded guilty in this case. Keith A. Rice and Francis R. Conti have pleaded not guilty.
Read story at Erie Times News

August 25, 2008

Florida Leads Rising Fraud
Led by in increase in new mortgage fraud cases along Florida's coast, U.S. fraud activity has risen significantly since last year. Reported incidents of mortgage fraud rose 42 percent from the first-quarter 2007 to the first-quarter 2008, Mortgage Asset Research Institute reported today. MARI said its findings are based on data submitted by its 600 subscribers to the Mortgage Industry Data Exchange about their first-quarter originations that have since been classified as fraudulent.
Read story at MortgageDaily.com

Convicted Alien Steals ID for Mortgage
Fanny Velasquez, 54, is being deported from California after trying to purchase a home with someone else’s identity. She was sentenced to 16 months in state prison but was given time served so she could be released to Immigration and Customs Enforcement for deportation to Columbia. Velasquez took out a $177,000 mortgage in her victim’s name prior to being caught for the second time.
Read story at VictorVille Daily Press

Racing Foreclosures
Foreclosures are affecting affluent neighborhoods as much as those in lower income areas. Here’s a look at the Maryland-area foreclosures and surrounding communities, at a bird’s eye view.
Read story at Washington Independent

Arizona AG Notes Lackadaisical Mortgage Laws
Arizona AG Terry Goddard said the state needs more comprehensive loan-disclosure rules and defined mortgage laws.
Read story at BizJournals

Fraudster Re-Sold Homes
Robert Flores, operating as Texas-based Galindo Trust, was re-selling a number of homes without telling the buyers about pre-existing liens. Some almost lost their homes to the scam, fortunately, University Federal Credit Union helped them clear the pre-existing liens and provided homeowners with fixed rate mortgages.
Read story at KVUE News

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