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Archives December 11, 2005


Fraud Stories From
Patrick Crowley

Fraud Wire

Citigroup Unit Stung by Chicago Gangs
When financial services giant Citigroup purchased Associates First Capital Corp. in 2000, it got more than one of the nation's largest subprime lenders.

Citi, as the New York-based company is known, was also left with a $10 million fraud ring that touched the violent world of Chicago street gangs.

"Citigroup was left to clean up this inherited situation," a Citigroup spokesman told MortgageDaily.com. "And we have cooperated fully with law enforcement and the investigation of this case."

Chicago police and prosecutors have tied some of the fraud that allegedly took place at Associates to a $70 million fraud ring that totaled more than 100 phony mortgage applications and involved members of the Traveling Vice Lords street gang.

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

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)

December 16, 2005

Former Bank CEO Sentenced
Kennon R. Patterson, former CEO of Community Bancshares in Alabama, was sentenced Tuesday to five years in prison for bank fraud when he diverted money earmarked for a new bank branch to his own construction of a 17,000-square-foot home and horse ranch.
read story from The Huntsville Times .

23-Year Fraud Sentence
Troy Lee Keith was sentenced to 23 years in prison for stealing homes from desperate borrowers facing foreclosure.
read story from the Cincinnati Enquirer .

December 15, 2005

CO Legislation Targets Foreclosure Fraud
Colorado's Attorney General announced legislation that would require
foreclosure consultants and equity investors to use detailed written contracts and prohibit foreclosure consultants from ending up owning the house.
read story from the Rocky Mountain News .

Mortgage Brokers Should Do More to Fight Fraud
The FBI told reporters in a press briefing Wednesday that mortgage brokers need to file more suspicious activity reports even though they aren't required by law to report mortgage fraud.
read story from the Chicago Tribune .

December 14, 2005

Recent Fraud Losses Over $1/2 Billion
Losses to the mortgage industry have recently totaled more than $600 million, according to a new government report.
read story from MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

Father, Son Sentenced
Ahmad Musa Jebril and his father, Musa Abdallah Jebril, were each sentenced to several years in prison for "brazen, widespread fraud" orchestrated by the son.
read story from The News-Herald .

Ex Wells Fargo Executive Charged With Fraud
David R. Slominski, a former vice president of a Minnesota Wells Fargo bank, was arrested for allegedly creating more than $3 million in fake loans and embezzling funds from Wells.
read story from WCCO 4 News .

Appraisal Fraud Goes Way Beyond the Appraisal
A number of dishonest Chicago-area appraisers are stealing the identities of legitimate colleagues to file fraudulent reports.
read story from the Chicago Tribune .

Mortgage Fraud On Rise
Fraud is growing, and it hits different markets in unique ways.
read story from The Journal News .

December 13, 2005

Scammers' Bond Set At $1 Million
Mark Musselman and Mark Edwards are accused of illegally pocketing $1 million in funds from loans with fraud funded by Interfirst Mortgage.
watch video news story of court hearing from WHIO-TV 7 .

His & Hers Guilty Pleas
Venere M. Hutchinson and his wife, Dana Upcher Hutchinson, signed confessions and were sentenced to a year in jail under plea deals for their roles in a real estate finance scam where they defrauded banks out of $1 million.
read story from The Buffalo News .

Firm Alerting Public, Industry About Mortgage Fraud
Perfect Home Living has lauched the first in a series of ad campaigns to bring attention to the surging real estate fraud problem and combat it.
read press release from Perfect Home Living .

December 12, 2005

Founders of Down Payment Charity Diverted Millions
Paul Merrill, former president of The Buyer's Fund and plaintiff in a suit against the down-payment charity, claims the founders cooked up a scheme to divert virtually all of the earnings to themselves.
read story from The Salt Lake Tribune .

Flipper Heading to Prison
William O'Keefe, one of three people who have plead guilty in a case that cost lenders $280,000, was sentenced to two years in prison for his role.
read article from the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle .

Fraud for All the Right Reasons
After insisting that he did it for all the right reasons, Patrick Morrison was sentenced to 3-9 years in prison for stealing his mother-in-law's house and bilking a widow of her dead husband's life savings.
read Newsday story

read Patrick Crowley's prior story at MortgageDaily.com
(subscription required)

200 Investors Duped by Mortgage Scam
Leonard Bogdan Jr. was arrested last week and, along with other defendants, is accused of using fraudulent mortgage investments to dupe about 200 investors
read story from the Palm Beach Post .

Fraud Fugitive Found in Canada
Mohammad Taghie "Mike" Kakvand, who changed his name to Mohammad Taghie Azadvala and was wanted on mortgage fraud charges in a $29 million Chicago scheme, was arrested in Canada during a routine speeding citation and has been returned to the U.S.
read story from the Chicago Tribune .

Fraud Suspect Accuses Gov of Withholding Evidence
Former county official Sherry L. Freebery, who is fighting charges including mortgage fraud, has made a series of secret filings amid her public comments accusing the U.S. Attorney's office of withholding evidence from her lawyers.
read story from The News Journal .

Unlicensed LO Nailed in Multiple Scams
Micaela Martin, a New York native who has used the name Ivy Carter and has a record of drug and prostitution convictions, was arrested Wednesday evening and charged with conspiracy following an investigation by state banking regulators of claims of illegal mortgage work and credit repair fraud.
read story from The Daily Reflector .

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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