April 26th, 2012 at 5:10pm
Scott Dority, 54, a San Marino man who pleaded guilty in March 2011 to stealing $9 million from lenders by using straw buyers to purchase properties with falsified loan documents (loan fraud, mortgage fraud), has been sentenced to 121 months in federal prison. Dority used much of us ill-gotten gains to buy houses and splurge on Ferraris and Lamborghinis.
United States District Judge R. Gary Klausner imposed the sentence after Dority pleaded guilty wire fraud, conspiracy, aggravated identity theft and two counts of tax evasion. He was also required to allocute that the fraud he perpetrated resulted at least $4 million in losses to mortgage lending institutions (mortgage fraud) and $5 million to lenders who specialized in loans for cars (Ferrari fraud?).
The Scott Dority case was investigated jointly by the FBI, the IRS – Criminal Investigation Division (IRS-CID) and the United States Secret Service.
Read the original article in the Pasadena Star News.
April 26th, 2012 at 4:42pm
A mortgage broker who was accused of participating in a sophisticated mortgage fraud conspiracy with three other members of her family has received a stiff sentence by the judge.
Sushama Devi Lohia, 74, of Newport Beach, in December pleaded guilty to about 60 felony counts, including conspiracy, forgery, grand theft, identification theft and false recording of a deed (title fraud). She also pleaded guilty to 10 counts of tax evasion, according to Deputy District Attorney Douglas Brannan.
Lohia was accused of stealing more than $16 million from lenders by using straw buyers (people who “rent” their good credit out) to purchase properties on behalf of others. Loan applications were falsified, including inflating the income and assets of the applicants.
Lohia’s two daughters are awaiting their trials, as is a third relative.
Sushama Lohia’s real estate broker’s license is still active as of this date with the California Department of Real Estate (DRE).
Read the original article in the OC Register.
April 25th, 2012 at 9:13am
Gerald L. Wolfe, 41, an Irvine attorney and former real estate broker, is going to prison for 46 months after being convicted of wire fraud in a mortgage fraud scam. He also must provide $7.5 million in restitution to the banks from which he stole the funds.
Wolfe and his alleged co-conspirators purchase 30 homes in Orange and Riverside counties between 2005 and 2006 by using straw buyers, then falsifying loan applications (loan fraud, mortgage fraud). According to Assistant U.S. Attorney Brett Sagel, Wolfe received $25 million in property that was funded by the lenders, with none of his own money, and received $2.2 million back in cash.
Read the original article in the OC Register.
April 25th, 2012 at 9:02am
A Carlsbad woman who is a real estate agent and her son, an attorney, are sitting in jail, awaiting sentencing after they were convicted by a jury of stealing $8 million from lenders.
Aida Agusti Castro, 67, and Stephen Kenneth Chrysler, 46, of Orange County, were both convicted of multiple counts of wire fraud in the sale of 16 homes in Oceanside, Escondido, San Marcos.
Stephen Chrysler was the owner and CEO of SKC Real Estate in Carlsbad. Aida Castro was an officer of SKC and sold real estate. Chrysler’s real estate license with the California Department of Real Estate is expired; I could find no record of Castro possessing a real estate license.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office, through various means of falsifying loan statements and applications (loan fraud, mortgage fraud), the pair obtained up to $350,000 in real estate commissions and loan fees in the sales of properties. Considering they both receive 20 year prison sentences and $250,000 in fines, the so-called earned fees seem inadequate.
Read the original article in Courthouse News Service.
April 25th, 2012 at 8:47am
Gerard Bueno, 35, of La Habra Heights, and Jesus Vega Jr., 28, of Hacienda Heights, have been arrested and charged with operating a mortgage fraud ring that resulted in $2.3 million in losses to CitiMortage and MetLife Bank.
Bueno ran Pres Mex Inc., and Vega operated JVJ Inc.
Los Angeles County sheriff’s Detective Christopher Derry said that the two men obtained title to six properties in Los Angeles County fraudulently by “various means.” They then sold the properties to themselves at above-market prices (appraisal fraud) by using friends and relatives as straw buyers, submitting false loan application information (loan fraud, mortgage fraud). All the homes subsequently went into default.There have been six other arrests in this real estate scam, including George Kent, 66, of La Mirada.Read the original article in the Whittier Daily News.
April 25th, 2012 at 8:31am
Builder Bailout is a term used to describe how developers save their businesses in a falling market by inventing creative means of selling their new home inventory at higher-than-market prices.
The FBI is investigating the possibility of a builder buyout in the case of Seeno Homes, based in the Bay Area.
In mid-2006, as the real estate market was beginning its slow but steady course towards a financial Niagara Falls, letters were being sent by Seeno Homes to prospective home owners. These letters allegedly enticed the recipients with a $100,000 incentive toward the purchase of their dream home – as long as the recipients kept the offer confidential, meaning, hiding the deal from their lender and appraiser (mortgage fraud).
The point of such sales tactics is to keep home values high and appease the builders’ own lenders.
Seeno sales executive Carey Hendrickson has been arrested, but not charged, following a still-ongoing FBI investigation into allegations that Seeno Homes, the largest developer in the East Bay, used their incentive program to artificially inflate home prices (real estate fraud, appraisal fraud) and to conceal that information from their own lending sources (loan fraud).
Read the original article in the Contra Costa Times.
April 25th, 2012 at 8:07am
Four real estate professionals in Florida and Pennsylvania are serving prison terms after pleading guilty to wire fraud by scamming elderly home owners (elder financial abuse, elder financial fraud).
Marcos Echevarria, Louis Gendason, John Incandela were loan officers with 1st Continental Mortgage who originated reverse mortgages for seniors in seven states after identifying the victims as vulnerable. Home Equity Conversion Mortgages (HECM) are insured by the Federal Housing Administration (FHA). They also purportedly altered the home’s values (appraisal fraud) in order to negotiate fake short sales (short sale fraud). The losses to the lenders, in addition to the elderly homeowners, were $2.5 million.
The fourth defendant, Kimberly Mackey, owned Real Estate One Land Services, Inc. in Pittsburgh and performed title services. She had created fraudulent HUD-1 statements to show the mortgages had been paid off, when in fact they had not (title fraud, escrow fraud).
When all four get out of prison, they will have to find a new line of work, as they have been permanently barred from doing business with the federal government.
Read the original article in Lender Hookup.
April 18th, 2012 at 2:22pm
Ten people have been indicted, charged with conspiracy, wire fraud and money laundering in a scheme in which lenders may have been defrauded out of more than $10 million ( mortgage fraud).
The named defendants are Dana Merritt, aka Dana Hayden, Stacey Jones, Abigail Gonzalez, Leticia Miffleton, Sharlo Burris, Kendrick Green, Johnese Zeigler, Andre Simon, Gordon Simon and Catherine Wheeler.
Stacey Jones and Abigail Gonzalez ran two companies called BYW Construction and Advanced Partnership Properties. They allegedly falsified loan applications (loan fraud, mortgage fraud) on behalf of the other defendants so that the latter could purchase properties in Southern California. The defendants then filed false claims for construction work that was never done, liens and other unsecured loans.
Read the original article in San Diego 6.
April 18th, 2012 at 2:11pm
Tony Symmes, 61, once one of the largest home building operators in Chico, has been sentenced to 2 years 11 months in prison for conspiring to commit fraud and for money laundering. He must also pay restitution of$4 million dollars.
Symmes conspired with Garret G. Gililland III and other defendants to sell 62 homes to Gililland’s straw buyers for inflated prices (appraisal fraud) between 2006 and 2008. After escrow closed, the overage was returned to Gililland’s storefront companies and disbursed among the defendants. Of course, the lenders who financed the loans were unaware of this real estate fraud scheme.
Garret G. Gililland III, Shane Burreson, William Baker, Niche S. Fortune and others have already pleaded guilty for their roles in defrauding the lenders (loan fraud, mortgage fraud). Kesha Danine Fortune Haynie, who is Niche Fortune’s sister did not plead out and was convicted of mail fraud in March 2012.
The investigation and prosecution were a cooperative effort by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation Division and the Butte County District Attorney’s Office.
Read the original article in KRCRTV.com.
April 6th, 2012 at 8:31am
The second of seven Hells Angels defendants charged in September 2011 with conspiracy to defraud banks by submitting fraudulent loan applications (mortgage fraud, loan fraud) has received a one-year sentence.
Josh Leo Johnson, 36, of Santa Rosa, is (was?) the vice-president of the Sonoma chapter of the Hells Angeles. He pleaded guilty back in December to lying about his income in order to get a loan from Sun Trust Mortgage. U.S. District Judge William Alsup also ordered Johnson to pay $130,000 in restitution to the lender.
The first defendant to plead guilty in the case, Raymond Foakes, did so to charges of fraud and money-laundering. Foakes, the former president of the same chapter as Johnson, received almost six years in prison by Judge Alsup.
Read the original article in the San Francisco Chronicle.