California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for the 'Loan Fraud' Category

Sacramento Man Sentenced in Mortgage Fraud Csae

June 16th, 2017 at 8:43am

Sergey Shchirskiy, 41, a loan processor in Sacramento, has been sentenced to seven years and 10 months in prison for his role in two mortgage fraud schemes and one tax fraud scheme, according to the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.

Between April and November 2007, Shchirskiy and his co-conspirators purchased properties with straw buyers and took out home equity lines of credit using fraudulent documents and statements that Shchirskiy created. He also recruited the straw buyers and the loan applications he submitted contained untrue information about the buyers’ income, assets and intent to occupy the houses.

Read the original article in the Central Valley Business Times.

Former Employees Sue American Financial Corp., Claim Retaliatory Firing for Exposing Fraud

June 16th, 2017 at 8:08am

Four former employees of American Financial Corp. have filed a whistleblower lawsuit, accusing the company of firing them after they attempted to expose AFC’s alleged mortgage fraud.

The plaintiffs are Chris Springer, Steffen Mehnert and Sandra Reynolds, who were mortgage consultants, and Stacia Springer, a pre-qualification specialist. They say they were fired after they reported their concerns to management in March 2017.

The lawsuit alleges that the company intentionally falsified loan information, faked signatures, withheld negative financial information about an applicant and faked compliance with key deadlines.

American Financing issued a statement to The Denver Post, saying it will defend itself “vigorously against this meritless lawsuit and the false allegations …”

JP Morgan Chase, Wells Fargo, US Bank, Flagstar Bank and PennyMac, were the banks allegedly defraud according to the lawsuit, as well as the Colorado Housing and Finance Authority.

Read the original article in The Denver Post.

 

Vallejo Man Gets 10 Years in Prison for Stealing $10 Million

May 11th, 2017 at 3:13pm

Karim Akil, 50, was sentenced in federal court to 10 years in prison for conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud and money laundering.

Akil was first indicted in 2009, entered a guilty plea as part of a plea deal in 2012 but according to prosecutors defrauded more people in 2012 and 2013 while waiting to be sentenced.

In a press release, Michael T. Batdorf, an IRS special agent in charge in the IRS Criminal Investigation Division, said “Mr. Akil enjoyed a lavish lifestyle, with outrageous expenditures. Akil left a path of destruction, from properties that went into default and foreclosure, to straw buyers whose credit was ruined, to an escrow company that went out of business.”

Read the original article in the Fairfield Daily Republic.

 

Three From Long Island Arrested In $1 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

May 5th, 2017 at 8:45am

Nine people were indicted, and three arrested for an alleged mortgage fraud scheme that included some short sale fraud purchases. The scheme spanned two boroughs of New York City and resulted in more than $1 million in fraudulent gains.

The persons arrested were Janelle Defreitas, 37, of Uniondale; Lester Wayne Mackey, 63, of Wyandanch; and Darren Downes, 36, of Baldwin. Also named in the indictment were Raymond McKayle, 53, of East Flatbush; Jaipaul Persaud, 54, of Fresh Meadows; Roxanne Harmon, 51, of Jamaica; June Whyte, 54, of Ozone Park; Rickley Gregoire, 33, of Brooklyn; and Paula Blackwood-Sambury, 50, of Cambria Heights.

“Our investigation uncovered a brazen and elaborate scheme to defraud mortgage lenders and steal over $1 million,” said Attorney General Eric Schneiderman. “We have zero tolerance for anyone who tries to cheat the system — and we won’t hesitate to bring them to justice.”

Ironically, Roxanne Harmon is an investigator for the New York City Department of Investigation. One of the properties involved was apparently her own.

Read the original article, which includes the charges and details of the alleged mortgage fraud scheme, in The Patch.

 

Nipomo Woman Sentenced to Prison for Defrauding Senior Citizen in Reverse Mortgage Scam

April 6th, 2017 at 1:46pm

San Luis Obispo District Attorney Dan Dow announced that a Nipomo woman who scammed an elderly man out of $117,000 by conning him into taking out a reverse mortgage on his property, has been sentenced to one year in jail.

Araceli Cortes, 38, pleaded no contest to one count of felony grand theft with an enhancement for stealing more than $100,000. Her victim was a 74-year-old man who had financially backed her business.

In addition to serving her sentence, Cortes received four years of probation and must pay restitution.

Read the original article in CalCoastNews.com

Citrus Heights Real Estate Agent Sentenced to Prison in Mortgage Fraud Case

March 30th, 2017 at 3:35pm

Dianna Woods has received a three-year sentence in federal prison after being convicted of four counts of making false statements on loan applications. She was sentenced in Sacramento by Senior U.S. District Judge William B. Shubb.

Woods, 60, was a licensed real estate salesperson for a brokerage called VLD Realty, dba Trade House USA. VLD built and sold houses in residential developments in the Sacramento, Carmichael and Copperopolis areas. When the real estate market started to decline in 2006, VLD tried to sell some of its properties by making the down-payments for buyers and giving them money after the sale closed. Woods was accused of purchasing two of the houses without disclosing the kickbacks and also allegedly submitted loan applications and supporting documentation containing untrue information regarding the purchase terms, as well as her income, employment and assets.

The prosecution grew after the circumstances were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. The case was prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.

Read the original article in the Sacramento Bee.

Fraud on the Rise in 2017 Mortgage Applications

March 28th, 2017 at 10:49am

Fraud and misrepresentation in mortgage applications (mortgage fraud) is on the increase again, according to new data from First American’s Loan Application Defect Index.

The overall Index reveals that the frequency of defects, fraud and misrepresentation in mortgage applications was up 4.1% from January to February in 2017. It was also up 1.3% the same month in 2016. The peak was in October 2013.

Split apart, the Defect Index for (new) purchase transactions was up 2.4% for both month over month and year over year and the refinance defect index grew 3.4% month over month in February, but decreased 6.4% from February of 2016.

Mark Fleming, the chief economist at First American, believes that the recent Fed interest-rate hike, which caused lenders to raise their rates, sent a signal to prospective buyers, some of whom may have submitted loan applications with false or fraudulent information.

“Defect, fraud and misrepresentation risk continues to respond to the shift in market composition. Rising mortgage rates continue to increase the share of higher risk purchase loan applications, but they are also incenting more borrowers to apply for ARMs,” Fleming said. “The savings for the consumer can be significant, but ARM loan applications have historically had higher defect, misrepresentation and fraud risk,” said Fleming. “The increasing popularity of adjustable rate mortgages is something to keep an eye on as the spring home buying season warms up.”

Read the original article in  Mortgage Professional America.

Long Beach Man Sentenced to Prison for Mortgage Fraud Scam

March 10th, 2017 at 12:49pm

Long Beach resident John Martynec, 41, has been sentenced to federal prison for two years for helping to run a scheme which cost lenders over $2.4 million.

Martynec,  a formerly licensed real estate broker and co-owner of JTR Real Estate Inc. in Norwalk, found homes that could be purchased and “flipped” after undergoing renovations. He and one of his real estate agents, Elek Andrade, would purchase the homes by using the personal information of individuals without the consent of those persons.

Andrade, 32, was sentenced to one year and one day, as was Mireya Espinoza, 36, for providing fraudulent supporting documents, such as employment verification.

“Schemes like this can destabilize the financial industry and the real estate market,” United States Attorney Eileen M. Decker said in a statement. “The last economic crisis demonstrates the dangers of such destabilization and the importance of prosecuting crimes like those committed by these defendants.”

U.S. District Judge Dale S. Fischer ordered the two men to pay $2,573,092 in restitution and Espinoza to pay $1,476,966 in restitution.

Read the original article in the Long Beach Post.

A Story about an Appraiser Who is One of the Good Guys

March 2nd, 2017 at 11:06am

This is an great human-interest story about Gary Crabtree, who has run an appraisal business in Kern County for 55 years.

In the course of his work in the first decade of this century, Crabtree uncovered a massive mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud scheme operated by the brokerage Crisp & Cole Real Estate and Tower Lending. There are many articles posted in the California Real Estate Fraud Report about David Crisp and Carl Cole and their employees.

You can read about Gary Crabtree‘s remarkable career in the Bakersfield Californian.

 

Former Roseville Real Estate Agent Sentenced to Prison for Forging Documents

March 2nd, 2017 at 10:54am

Alla Samchuk, 45, who was previously a licensed real estate agent, has been sentenced to nine years and six months in federal prison for mortgage fraud, identity theft and obstruction of justice. She was convicted last August.

According to prosecutors, from 2006 through 2008, Samchuk concocted a mortgage fraud involving two homes in Roseville and one in El Dorado Hills. Because she was unable to qualify for the loans, so she found straw buyers to apply for the loans in their own names. The applications contained false statements regarding income, employment and assets, including falsely representing that the straw buyers would occupy the homes.

Judge Garland Burrell Jr. of the U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California in Sacramento was the trial judge. He imposed the longer sentence because Samchuk had threatened a witness not to report her crimes.

You can read more about the history of the case by going to the U.S. Government Publishing Office.

Read the original article in the Sacramento Business Journal.

© Copyright 2007-2017 Monique Bryher

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The information and notices contained on The California Real Estate Fraud Report are intended to summarize recent developments in real estate fraud, mortgage fraud, short sale fraud, REO fraud, appraisal fraud, loan modification scams, loan modification fraud and other real estate related crimes occurring in Los Angeles and California. The posts on this site are presented as general research and information and are expressly not intended, and should not be regarded, as legal advice. Much of the information on this site concerns allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime. Readers who have particular questions about real estate fraud, mortgage fraud and appraisal fraud matters or who believe they require legal counsel should seek the advice of an attorney.

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