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Archives December 11, 2005


Fraud Stories From
Patrick Crowley

Fraud Wire

Broker Growth Fuels Georgia Fraud

No place has been hit harder by the rash of mortgage fraud sweeping the nation than Georgia.

The FBI has said Georgia is one of the top 10 "hot spots" for mortgage fraud, which jumped from 477 cases and a loss of $15.4 million in 2003 to 1,409 cases and a potential loss of $44.2 million last year.

The Mortgage Asset Research Institute, a Virginia-based mortgage industry research and marketing firm, said Georgia is number one when it comes to fraud.

And Georgia Attorney General Thurbert Baker has said mortgage fraud has reached epidemic proportions in this state.

read the rest of Patrick's story at MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

Broker Facing Unrelated Criminal, Civil Actions

A mortgage broker already facing charges of ripping off the family of a 9/11 terrorist attack victim has been sued for allegedly stealing a New York woman's home.

Michael McEnroe, a mortgage broker from Levittown, N.Y., is accused in a lawsuit filed in State Supreme Court in Nassau County of using fraud to take control of a woman's house and $25,000 in equity.

In a separate incident in June, McEnroe and Ryan Gosin, owners of The Able Group, were charged by the Nassau County District Attorney with defrauding two victims out of $450,000.

In a statement District Attorney Denis Dillon said the money "was to be used for real estate investments but instead was used to pay for the personal and unrelated business expenses of Gosin and McEnroe."

read the rest of Patrick's story at MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

December 9, 2005

Gambino Crime Figure Extorts Mortgage Broker
Leonard Minuto Jr., one of 32 reputed Gambino members and associates charged in March, was arrested on charges of conspiracy and extortion of an unnamed mortgage broker.
read story from The Journal News .

December 8, 2005

Ohio Man Steals Seniors' Homes
Richard "Rico" Lenard pleaded guilty to charges he stole three houses -- including two owned by women in their eighties -- using forged checks, fake powers of attorney and mortgage fraud.
read story from the Plain Dealer .

InterFirst Stung By Ex-Cons
Mark Musselman and Mark Edwards, both convicted felons, were indicted on charges they defrauded ABM AMRO's wholesale division on $1 million in mortgages -- including mortgages for dead people.
read story from the Dayton Daily News .

Mortgage Company Owner Duped by Sentenced Banker
Fred Allison, a former vice president and a loan officer, was sentenced to work release for duping bank customer Rhonda Lesh -- owner of Lesh Mortgage Lending -- on a personal mortgage.
read story from the Greeley Tribune .

December 7, 2005

Borrower Pleads Guilty
Morgan Haines joins Joseph Maggio and William O'Keefe in pleading guilty to FHA mortgage fraud and faces up to a year in jail.
read story from i TEAM 10 News WHEC .

December 6, 2005

Foreclosure Fraud Pair Plead Innocent
Martha Rodriguez and Edward Seung Ok pleaded not guilty in U.S. District Court to 10 counts of mail fraud in connection with an $8 million fraud scheme.
read story from the Los Angeles Times .

Government Fraud Figure Going Private
Jan Paul Miller, a former U.S. Attorney who prosecuted, among other people, fraud criminals, will take a private sector job at the St. Louis law firm of Thompson Coburn LLP.
read story from Copley News Service .

December 5, 2005

Many Fight Fraud
Arthur Prieston, chairman of a mortgage fraud insurance firm, is at the forefront of an effort to define the crime of mortgage fraud in a federal statute and set sentencing guidelines.
read United Feature Syndicate story .

Convicted Fraudster Stole More While Out On Bail
Brent Michael Barber was convicted of in the first of two mortgage fraud trials against. While he was out on bail awaiting trial, he swindled a homeowner out of $20,000.
read story from The Kansas City Star .

Spitzer Going After NY Predators
"Seniors are frequent targets of scams," New York Attorney General Eliot Spitzer reportedly said. "With this program, we seek to empower and educate older New Yorkers on how to identify scams and protect themselves. We also hope to increase reporting of possible scams to appropriate authorities to prevent further exploitation."
read story from The Legislative Gazette .

Calif. Regulators Know Little About Brokers
California agencies that monitor mortgage brokers say they don't know the most basic facts about them, including how many brokers are operating in the state or how often there are complaints.
read story from the Los Angeles Times .

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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