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Last Updated Friday, December 7, 2007, 5:00 PM Texas Time
photo of Coco Salazar

December 7, 2007

Chicago Bank Sued for Poor Underwriting
The plaintiff in lawsuit against an Illinois bank alleges the bank is liable for fraud committed by partners of an elderly borrower. But the bank says the claims are frivolous and suggests the timing of the lawsuit is politically motivated.
read story from MortgageDaily.com

FBI Triples NY Staff To Combat Fraud
The FBI has initiated 1,200 mortgage fraud investigations in NY so far this year. One FBI official stated the problem is growing "exponentially".
read story from Reuters

Fraud Ranking Puts Texas Near Top
According to an FBI report, instances of mortgage fraud related crimes jumped from 3,000 in the year 2000, to nearly 22,000 in 2005. Those statistics landed Texas as number 7 on the list ranking the states with the most cases of mortgage crime.
read story from The San Antonio Business Journal

Texas Sized Mortgage Scam Uncovered
A massive mortgage scam in the Houston area has already led to indictments for 37 people, including the ring leaders, Obbie Toliver and Joyce Toliver, who have been accused of defrauding lenders out of at least $5.6 million.
read story from The Houston Chronicle

December 6, 2007

FBI Launches New State Fraud Task Force
The FBI has created a new mortgage fraud task force in it's Washington office which joins a network of teams in other states. The task forces priorities will be investigating the 1,210 mortgage related probes it has opened this year alone.
read story from The Washington Post

December 5, 2007

PA Real Estate Companies Sued For Defrauding Home Buyers
Kenneth Fox and his business partner, Matthew Yurchison are being sued by 1st Olympic Settlement Services on allegations that the two owners of FFIG Inc. and several affiliated companies defrauded home buyers out of at least $650,000.
read story from The Pittsburgh Tribune-Review

NY Woman Sentenced For Stealing Filing Fees
Shannon L. Gray was sentenced to five years probation for stealing nearly $3000 over two years. The money was paid by real estate companies and intended to be used for mortgage document recording fees.
read story from The Post Star

Long Beach Mortgage Employee First To Be Arrested In Scam
John Ngo was arrested for an unraveling mortgage fraud case that may involve more than 100 homes in the Stockton, CA. area. Several other people are being investigated for their possible rolls in the scheme, such as William Bridge, who received $802,057 in commissions from Long Beach Mortgage for the fraudulent transactions.
read story from News10.net

Several Arrests Proof Of Mortgage Fraud Task Force's Efforts
Recent arrests for mortgage scams by the Miami-Dade task force include Mariana Navarrete, Richard Gutierrez, Rafael Diaz, Justo Santana, Evelyn Marrero, Gilbert Oquendo, and Rayner Aguiar are evidence that Florida is taking a tough new stance on real estate fraud crimes in efforts to curb the states reputation as a mortgage scam Mecca.
read story from The Miami Herald

December 4, 2007

Mortgage Fraud Eases
DALLAS -- (Dec. 4, 2007) Civil and criminal mortgage fraud case activity eased during November from October -- although activity jumped from a year earlier, according to the FraudBlogger Index published and maintained by MortgageDaily.com

Sixth Defendant Pleads Guilty To $14 Million Mortgage Scam
Terrell Ford pleaded guilty in a Kansas district court for his roll in a local mortgage fraud scheme that cost lenders $14 million in losses from fraudulent appraisals submitted to them by a phoney company, TERM Appraisers.
read story from The Kansas City Business Journal

Ho Ho Ho-ld Onto Your Wallets
While celebrating the holidays this year, keep in mind that elves at the North Pole are not the only ones working overtime. Identity thieves have struck 8.3 million adults, sometimes through consumers credit card use, according to a recent Federal Trade Commission survey.
read story from USA Today

Senator Claims Help Is On The Way
Senator Jay Tibshraeny is pushing a bill through the Arizona state legislature that would provide the funding starved state's Department of Financial Institutions more money and staff to clear the backlog of mortgage fraud complaints it has sitting unresolved, which recently numbered at more than 800.
read story from KTAR.com

Washington D.C. Broker Accused Of Rescue Scam
The FBI is investigating allegations that claim Joy Jackson and her company, The Metropolitan Money Store, bilked tens of millions of dollars from desperate customers who were persuaded to sign over the deeds to their homes in a scheme that promised to rescue them from impending foreclosures.
read story from MSNBC

December 3, 2007

Two Sentenced For Mobile Mortgage Fraud
Joycelyn Easter and Antonio Devon Harrison were sentenced in an Alabama Federal Court for a $1 million straw buyer mortgage scam. Darlene Hill, the scheme's ringleader, will be sentenced later this month.
read story from AL.com

Where There Is Smoke, There Is Fire
Homeowners unable to pay for their ARM loans, and who are facing foreclosures, are sometimes turning to arson as a solution to get away from looming financial ruin. Insurance fraud investigators are seeing the trend growing, especially in places like California, where mortgage related arson cases have already increased by 50 percent from last year.
read story from The Insurance Journal

The Costs Of Mortgage Fraud
Mortgage fraud costs tax payers hundreds of millions of dollars each month and leaves whole neighborhoods empty of residents as foreclosures are triggered by scam artists who are appearing to be more hardened criminals and involved in other areas of illegal activities.
read story from OpEdNews.com

Prosecutors Want Heavy Sentence For $100 Million Fraud
Federal prosecutors in San Diego are seeking a sentence of ten years for Thomas Kontogiannis for a $100 million mortgage fraud scam that he ran after he had already pled guilty for a political corruption case where he laundered bribe funds for a powerful Congressman.
read story from The North County Times

Coco Salazar is an associate editor and staff writer for MortgageDaily.com.

e-mail: MortgageWriter@aol.com

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