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Last Updated Thursday, November 22, 2006, 04:49 PM Texas Time

Armed & Dangerous

A former mortgage executive who is under indictment for selling the same loans multiple times on the secondary market escaped when federal agents tried to nab him.

Edward Batayeh, who is also known as Ed Bhataybh, has been indicted by a federal grand jury in Oakland on charges of masterminding a $13 million fraud that included reselling loans multiple times.

But when federal agents tried to apprehend him on Nov. 17, he fled in a 2003 BMW X3 with the California license plate 5ETZ317.

"Defendant is a fugitive and should be considered armed and dangerous," the U.S. Attorney for the Northern District of California said in a statement.

MortgageDaily.com subscribers read Patrick's full story

Fraud King Caught

The most brazen outlaw in mortgage fraud has been arrested.

Matthew B. Cox, who allegedly masterminded a multimillion dollar mortgage fraud scheme across the South, was nabbed Thursday afternoon in Nashville by U.S. Secret Service agents who were tipped off by a babysitter who learned about him from the a newspaper article.

The arrest came just one day after Cox's accomplice, 34-year-old Rebecca Marie Hauck, was sentenced by a federal court in Atlanta to more than five years in prison and ordered to pay almost $1.2 million in restitution for her role in the scheme.

The couple, who were dubbed the Bonnie and Clyde of mortgage fraud, was finally behind bars Thursday night after more than two years evading authorities in Georgia, Florida, Alabama, South Carolina, North Carolina and Tennessee.

MortgageDaily.com subscribers read Patrick's full story

November 22, 2006

3rd Fraud Perpetrator Sentenced
Final participant in $1 million mortgage St. Louis fraud scheme sentenced.

Unkept Yards Lure Fraudsters
A book author recommended for owners of homes they don't reside in to keep up with the exterior of the properties to avoid being duped by scam artists such as James Andrew Ryan, who received a two-month jail sentence for admitting he transferred the interests of run-down homes with unkept yards to his name through forged quitclaim deeds and bogus notary seals.

read story from Boston Globe.

Foreclosure "Rescue" Prevalent
Platinum Investment Group is amongst the companies borrowers have filed complaints against for allegedly leading borrowers on the verge of foreclosure into unknowingly signing off their homes -- a type of scam that is spreading and has prompted several states to pass related protection laws.

read story from BusinessWeek .

OH Fights Fraud
The FBI will lead a task force formed by Ohio and federal officials to combat mortgage fraud and indict predatory lenders in the state, which has one of the nation's highest foreclosure rates.

read story from the Plain Dealer .

Mortgage Co. Owner Operates Scheme
Amongst the tactics Yvette Scott Patterson, owner of Khadmilroy Inc., is accused of using to run a $12 million mortgage fraud ring was the use of straw buyers, inflated property values and rent-to-own schemes.

read story from the Miami Herald.

November 21, 2006

7 Arrested for FHA Fraud
The ongoing Colorado and federal investigation of fraud in which false documents, including forged Social Security cards, were used to obtain mortgages insured by the Federal Housing Administration led to the arrests of Maria Baca, Juan Cervantes, Hector Jimenez-Villazana, Roger Lopez, Maria De Los Angeles Mendez, Jose Ruelas, and Jorge Villegas-Rodriguez.

read story from the Denver Newspaper Agency.

Probe Unveils Forgery on Mortgages
Investigators reportedly found that mortgage broker Liza Bautista uses personal information and signatures of previous good-credit borrowers -- without their knowledge -- to obtain mortgages on homes that borrowers with spotty credit are led to believe belong to them.

read story from King 5 News.

Borrowers Profit More Than Sellers
Federal and Florida officials are investigating real estate agents involved in selling properties that had mortgages made out for a combined $1.6 million more than the asking prices -- with at least one incident resulting in $300,000 of the purchase price going back to the buyers or to third parties.

read story from the Tampa Tribune.

Actor, Mortgage Fraud Victim
Action star Wesley Snipes compared the tax-fraud charges he currently faces to the foreclosure case on his home a few years ago, noting that the foreclosed property had a mortgage that was obtained by financial individuals under his name without his knowledge.

read story from the Orlando-Sentinel.

November 20, 2006

Firm Owner Named in Fraud Suit
America's Mortgage Banc alleges that Brian Urbanowski, owner of XEZ Inc., submitted a false application to pocket $120,000 from a loan on a run-down house that had its value inflated.

read story from the Chicago Tribune .

Weatherman Admits Fraud
Ex-meteorologist Neal Pascal agreed to plead guilty for his involvement in buying properties he requested sellers inflate sales prices to in order to obtain loan proceeds that would basically refund the down payments he gave on the homes.

read story from Knox News.

3 Face Equity Scam Trial
Lonni Ashlock and Ronald Buhler and notary public Sue Walls must go to trial for allegedly participating in a scheme in which equity was taken from delinquent borrowers who were convinced into signing deeds to their homes for a fraction of the value to save their homes.

read story from the Modesto Bee.

Ex-School CFO Admits Fraud
Mordecai L. Smith, the former chief financial officer of Virginia Beach Schools, was sentenced for 5 years for fraudulent practices, including convincing a person to apply for and obtain a $360,000 loan to purchase a home in which he resided.

read story from WVEC.

Reverse Mortgage Schemes 101
Amongst the reverse loan scams seniors fall victims to is paying thousands of dollars for reverse mortgage information, which HUD makes available free of charge.

read story from Best Syndication.

November 17, 2006

Law Firm Fraudsters
Several partners from defunct law firm Hankin, Hanig, Stall, Caplicki, Redl and Curtin, have pleaded guilty to unrelated actions such as bribing mortgage companies for referral closings, violations of RESPA, and the latest, stealing from escrow accounts.

read story from the Poughkeepsie Journal.

Mortgage Fraud Red Flags
Being encouraged to falsify information on a mortgage application is only one of the many signs loan prospects and borrowers should pick up on to avoid being duped, mortgage bankers said.

read story from the Ann Arbor News.

Mortgage Fraud: An Epidemic
In a recent seminar, FBI agent Jim Brennan discussed the prevalence of mortgage fraud and how lenders and other mortgage insiders can help the agency open more cases to combat the problem.

read story from the Ann Arbor News.

November 16, 2006

Financial Analyst Accused of Fraud
A complaint alleged that independent financial analyst, Spyro C. Contogouris, illegally pocketed faked expenses, tax refunds and mortgage proceeds from 1997 to 2002.

read story from the New York Times.

"Clyde" Finally Caught
A potential 400-year prison sentence awaits Matthew Bevan Cox, who with a female partner forms the "Bonnie and Clyde" of mortgage fraud for stealing millions of dollars through the loans, was captured at his home in Nashville, Tenn. after being one of the nation's "most wanted" for some time.

read story from CNN Money.

3 Found Guilty of Fraud
A federal jury found Richard Lucas, Kimberly Castle and Kenneth Stalnaker guilty of participating in mortgage flipping scheme of distressed properties that were falsely appraised so as to generate proceeds from mortgages.

read story from the Hattiesburg American.

Real Estate Co. Investigated
Investigators searched the home of an official affiliated with URB Inc., a real estate buying company that police believe provided the homes gang member Terry Faulkner would fix and mortgage broker Rodrigo Navascues would falsify application information for to approve unsophisticated investors for mortgages.

read story from the Chicago Tribune.

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  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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