California Real Estate Fraud Report

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Archive for the 'Loan Fraud' Category

Nevada Men Indicted in Fraudulent Short Sale

August 18th, 2017 at 9:55am

Acting U.S. Attorney Steve Myhre for the District of Nevada announced that two men have been indicted in connection with the sale of one man’s property to a family member of his friend (short sale fraud).

The indictment alleges that Dustin Lewis (Henderson, NV) and Brian Sorensen (Las Vegas, NV) conspired to defraud OneWest Bank when Lewis submitted a fraudulent short sale application to the bank to sell the home to a relative of Sorensen. The plan was to prevent a foreclosure so that Lewis could keep possession of the 5,331-square foot, five-bedroom home in Henderson. It is further alleged that Lewis did not disclose to the bank that he and Sorensen had an agreement that Lewis would remain on the property and that later it would be sold back to him.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CID) and the U.S. Department of Interior-Office of the Inspector General. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Burns is the prosecutor.

Read the original article in Mortgage Professional America.

Wells Fargo Pays Out Again, This Time For Fraudulent Anti-Veteran Lending Practices

August 18th, 2017 at 9:08am

Banking giant Wells Fargo must pay over $100 million to settle allegations of fraud that included overcharging military veterans using the VA Home Loan to refinance their mortgages. The victims were not only veterans but U.S. taxpayers.

Brokers Victor Bibby and Brian Donnelly were the two whistleblowers in the lawsuit who sought to recover the losses that the federal government suffered when the loans it guaranteed loans defaulted. The two men sued Wells Fargo and seven other lenders to recoup losses; notably the federal government declined to join the qui tam lawsuit, which was filed under the federal False Claims Act, aka Lincoln’s Law (31 USC §§ 3729-3733.

The other banks are Bank of America Corp (BAC.N), Citigroup Inc (C.N), First Tennessee, JPMorgan Chase & Co (JPM.N), PNC Financial Services Group Inc (PNC.N) and SunTrust Banks Inc (STI.N). The total pay-out is $161.7 million.

Depending on whether the federal government offers to assist, the private person can receive a portion of the recovered damages, from 10% to 30%. If the government intervenes, the person bringing the lawsuit, the “relator”, receives between 15%-25%. If the government does not, the relator receives between 25%-30%. If the government intervenes and most of the information is already public, the relator is only entitled to 10%.

Read the full article, including Wells Fargo’s boilerplate “apology,” in DisabledVeterans.org

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB) Must Be Saved

July 11th, 2017 at 8:37am

The Consumer Financial Protection Bureau (CFPB), created as part of the Dodd-Frank Wall Street Reform and Consumer Protection Act, is one of the few federal agencies that exists to protect We ThePeople against predatory, misleading and fraudulent practices financial institutions have used to steal from us.

One of the CFPB‘s most recent accomplishments was to fine Wells Fargo $185 million and force it to return fees it had unlawfully charged its customers. This was in conjunction with a lawsuit filed against Wells Fargo by the Los Angeles City Attorney.

The current Administration and Republicans in Congress are openly trying to shut down the CFPB and go back to the “good old days” of no regulation of the financial sector.

Read this interesting article called “Why We Need to Save the Consumer Financial Protection Bureau.”

Sacramento Loan Processor Sentenced for Participation in Widespread Mortgage Fraud

July 7th, 2017 at 11:08am

Loan processor Sergey Shchirskiy, 41, has been sentenced to seven years and 10 months in prison for his role in a mortgage fraud conspiracy that caused losses of $2.7 million to lenders.

Shchirskiy was the target of a joint investigation by the FBI and IRS for white-collar crimes that began as early as 2007. According to U.S. Deputy District Attorney Phillip A. Talbert, Shchirskiy’s role was to recruit straw buyers and to prepare fraudulent loan applications for the straw buyers. He and his 15 co-conspirators took out equity lines of credit and all the properties were foreclosed.

U.S. District Judge Troy Nunley imposed sentence.

Read the press release from the U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California.

 

Prospect Mortgage to Pay $4.157 million in Penalties to Resolve Fraud Allegations

July 7th, 2017 at 10:55am

Prospect Mortgage Company is set to pay a penalty of $4.157 million to resolve claims by several attorneys general that it committed mortgage fraud while participating in the government’s Direct Lender Endorsement Program.

According to federal prosecutors, Prospect Mortgage defrauded the government during and after the run-up to the housing crisis through its participation in the Direct Endorsement program, which the feds claim cost taxpayers millions.

The program is administered by the Federal Housing Administration and the Department of Housing and Urban Development. As a DE lender, Prospect was able to originate, underwrite and endorse mortgages for FHA insurance. But the U.S. Justice Department alleged that Prospect falsely certified that the FHA-insured loans it had originated complied with critical quality-control requirements, when they did not.

Prospect Mortgage sold its operating assets to HomeBridge Financial in February 2017.

Read the original article in Mortgage Professional America.

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

© 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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