real estate fraud: Foreclosure Rescue Victims Sought - 08/17/11 06:37 AM
Foreclosure Rescue Victims Sought 1st Financial Resource LLC and 1st Federal Resource LLC, Missouri, are the subject of an FBI public assistance request in identifying residents of Hawaii who may have been defrauded by 1st Financial.  The company claimed to have been operating a foreclosure abatement program demanding advance fees of $2,000 to $5,000 from Hawaii residents who had fallen behind on their mortgage payments.
On August 8, 2011, the U.S. Attorney’s office in St. Louis, Missouri announced criminal charges against Marien Brown, aka Marien White, the owner/operator of the business described above.
The FBI believes that there are 87 separate victims in Hawaii … (0 comments)

real estate fraud: Man Admits Bid Rigging at Foreclosure Sales - 08/17/11 06:35 AM
Man Admits Bid Rigging at Foreclosure Sales Walter Daniel Olmstead, 39, Tracy, California, a real estate investor, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court in Sacramento to conspiring to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions held in San Joaquin County, California. The defendant pleaded guilty to conspiring with a group of real estate speculators who agreed not to bid against each other at certain public real estate foreclosure auctions in San Joaquin County. According to court documents, the primary purpose of the conspiracy was to suppress and restrain competition and to obtain selected real estate offered at San … (0 comments)

real estate fraud: Man Found Guilty in $5M Mortgage Fraud Scheme - 08/17/11 06:33 AM
Man Found Guilty in $5M Mortgage Fraud Scheme Eric Devon Bernard, 31, Brooklyn Park, Minnesota, was found guilty for his role in a $5 million mortgage fraud scheme. Bernard, who legally changed his name to Eric Allen Shirpiro, was found guilty by Hennepin County, Minnesota, District Court Judge George McGunnigle of racketeering for his role in the 2006 scheme.
The county attorney’s office argued that Bernard was a flight risk and asked that he be taken into custody until his sentencing. The judge agreed.
The trial before McGunnigle, without a jury, concluded Aug. 5, 2011.
The Hennepin County Attorney’s Office prosecuted the case.
(3 comments)

real estate fraud: 3 Plead Guilty to Dream Home Mortgage Scam - 08/17/11 06:30 AM
3 Plead Guilty to Dream Home Mortgage Scam Robert Todd McKinney, 42, and his wife Belinda McKinney, 43, pled guilty on August 11, 2011, John Quinn McKinney, 39, pled guilty on August 9, 2011; while his wife, Chamethele McKinney, 36, pled guilty on August 3, 2011, each admitting their participation in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and evade the payment of federal income taxes.
Robert (Todd) McKinney and John McKinney were both convicted of conspiracy to commit tax evasion, tax evasion, and making false statements to federal officials. Belinda McKinney was convicted of conspiracy to commit tax evasion and loan application fraud. … (0 comments)

real estate fraud: Fourth Man Pleads Guilty in $40.8 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme - 08/17/11 06:03 AM
Fourth Man Pleads Guilty in $40.8 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme CAMDEN, NJ—A fourth New Jersey man admitted today to his role in a $40.8 million mortgage fraud conspiracy, serving as a “straw buyer” to cause a lender to release more than $632,000 based on a fraudulent mortgage loan application, U.S. Attorney Paul J. Fishman announced. Michael Williams, 33, of Jersey City, N.J., pleaded guilty to an Information charging him with conspiracy to commit wire fraud. He entered his guilty plea before U.S. District Judge Joseph E. Irenas in Camden federal court.
According to documents filed in this case and statements made … (0 comments)

real estate fraud: Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Ponzi Scheme - 08/17/11 04:55 AM
Real Estate Investor Admits Ponzi Scheme Garry Bradford, 62, Sacramento, California, pleaded guilty to four counts of wire fraud for operating an investment-club Ponzi scheme.
According to court documents, Bradford was the president of Millenium (sic) Capital Group, one of several related “investment clubs” that were operating from 2003 to 2008 in the Sacramento area. Bradford admitted that his investment club alone took in $2.2 million from people who expected, based on what Bradford had told them, that their money would be invested in buying land and building structures for real estate investment. Victims refinanced their houses and changed their retirement accounts to … (2 comments)

real estate fraud: Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging at Public Foreclosure Auctions - 08/15/11 01:47 PM
Real Estate Investor Pleads Guilty to Bid Rigging at Public Foreclosure Auctions SACRAMENTO, CA—A real estate investor pleaded guilty today in U.S. District Court in Sacramento to conspiring to rig bids and commit mail fraud at public real estate foreclosure auctions held in San Joaquin County, Sharis A. Pozen, Acting Assistant Attorney General of the Department of Justice’s Antitrust Division, and Benjamin B. Wagner, U.S. Attorney for the Eastern District of California, announced. Walter Daniel Olmstead, 39, of Tracy, pleaded guilty to conspiring with a group of real estate speculators who agreed not to bid against each other at certain public … (0 comments)

real estate fraud: Pennsylvania Man Pleads Guilty to Running $17 Million Ponzi Scheme Involving Real Estate Investment Hedge Funds - 08/15/11 11:07 AM
Berwyn Man Pleads Guilty to Running $17 Million Ponzi Scheme Robert Stinson Jr., 56, of Berwyn, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty today to charges contained in a 26-count indictment detailing a Ponzi scheme that defrauded more than 260 investors of more than $17 million, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Stinon pleaded guilty, before U.S. District Court Judge Michael M. Baylson, to five counts of wire fraud, four counts of mail fraud, nine counts of money laundering, one count of bank fraud, three counts of filing false tax returns, two counts of obstruction of justice, and two counts of making false statements … (0 comments)

real estate fraud: The Top Mortgage Fraud States - 08/12/11 07:29 PM

Top Geographical Areas for Mortgage Fraud

Data from law enforcement and industry sources were compared and mapped to determine those

areas of the country most affected by mortgage fraud during 2010. This was accomplished by

compiling the state rankings by each data source, collating by state, and then mapping the

information.

Combining information from states reporting fraud with those reporting significant vulnerability

for fraud indicate the top states in 2010 were Florida, California, Arizona, Nevada, Illinois,

Michigan, New York, Georgia, New Jersey, and Maryland.

Courtesy FBI
(8 comments)

real estate fraud: Couples Guilty of Tax and Mortgage Fraud Offenses : From “Dream Home” to Federal Lockup? - 08/12/11 03:20 PM
Couples Guilty of Tax and Mortgage Fraud Offenses From “Dream Home” to Federal Lockup? Three metro-east residents recently pled guilty in United States District Court in East St. Louis, for participating in a conspiracy to defraud the United States and evade the payment of federal income taxes, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of Illinois, Stephen R. Wigginton, announced today.   Robert Todd McKinney, 42, and his wife Belinda McKinney, 43, pled guilty on August 11, 2011. John Quinn McKinney, 39, pled guilty on August 9, 2011; while his wife, Chamethele McKinney, 36, pled guilty on August 3, 2011. … (2 comments)

real estate fraud: IT'S FINALLY ARRIVED ! THE FBI 2010 MORTGAGE FRAUD REPORT - 08/12/11 09:35 AM
FBI Releases 2010 Mortgage Fraud Report
                                                 
According to this latest report—which highlights current mortgage fraud schemes, perpetrators, and mortgage fraud “hot spots”—mortgage fraud continued at elevated levels during 2010. The FBI, with its partners, dedicated significant resources to the problem and saw investigative successes during the year. And the current housing market will likely remain an attractive environment for mortgage fraud criminals in the near future who will seek new methods to circumvent loopholes and gaps in the mortgage lending market.
View the 2010 Mortgage Fraud Report
Courtesy FBI
(0 comments)

real estate fraud: 27 Indicted for Mortgage Fraud Crimes - Losses in Millions - 08/10/11 03:59 AM
27 Indicted for Mortgage Fraud Crimes 27 South Florida residents have been indicted on charges stemming from their participation in a series of mortgage fraud schemes that resulted in more than $30 million in fraudulent loans. The cases charge individuals at all levels of the mortgage process, including an attorney, realtors, mortgage brokers, loan processors, title agents, and straw buyers.  One case even charges three defendants with committing arson in order to get out of an existing mortgage. 
1.      United States v. Luis A. Oramas, et al.
On August 2, 2011, seventeen (17) defendants were charged in a forty-count indictment for … (4 comments)

real estate fraud: Three Plead Guilty to Reverse Mortgage Fraud - 08/10/11 03:55 AM
3 Admit Reverse Mortgage Fraud Louis Gendason, 42, Delray Beach, FL; Kimberly Mackey, 46, Pittsburgh, PA; and John Incandela, 24, Palm Beach, FL each plead guilty to their participation in a $2.5 million Home Equity Conversion Mortgage (a.k.a. reverse mortgage) fraud scheme.  The remaining defendant, Marcos Echeverria, is scheduled to appear in court on August 10, 2011. Sentencing for Gendason has been scheduled for November 8, 2011 at 1:15 PM before U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas.  Sentencing for Mackey and Incandela has been scheduled for November 3, 2011 at 1:30 PM before U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas.  At … (2 comments)

real estate fraud: Mortgage Brokerage Manager Sentenced to Five Years in Prison for Straw Buyer Scheme - 08/10/11 03:48 AM
Brokerage Manager Sentenced for Straw Buyer Scheme Micah Meyers, 32, Copiague, New York, was sentenced in Manhattan federal court to 60 months in prison for his role in a sub-prime mortgage fraud scheme involving dozens of residential mortgages that totaled more than $10 million. Meyers previously pled guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud on May 27, 2010. His sentence was imposed by United States District Judge Deborah A. Batts. According to court documents and proceedings: From 2005 through 2007, Meyers engaged in an illegal scheme to defraud lenders by preparing and submitting applications and supporting documentation for home … (4 comments)

real estate fraud: Appraisers, Loan Officers and Straw Buyers Charged with Mortgage Fraud Crimes - 08/10/11 03:43 AM
Appraisers, Loan Officers and Straw Buyers Charged with Mortgage Fraud Crimes Two residential real estate appraisers are among 14 defendants who allegedly engaged in three separate mortgage fraud schemes involving four homes. Federal agents posed as straw buyers of houses, seeking assistance in financing and closing fraudulent mortgage transactions. In each of the three cases, defendants had various roles in allegedly carrying out the frauds by arranging different fraudulent mortgage loans.  Thirteen of the defendants were arrested, including two sellers who went to purported closings on the properties as part of an undercover investigation. 
Two of the 14 defendants were allegedly involved … (0 comments)

real estate fraud: 14 Charged with $58M Mortgage Fraud Scheme - 08/10/11 03:35 AM
14 Charged with $58M Mortgage Fraud Scheme Gerard Canino, 50, Merrick, NY; Ian Katz, 32, Keller, TX; Omar Guzman, 38, East Quogue; James Vignola, 31, Freeport, NY; Henry Richards, 48, Jamaica, NY; Robert Thornton, 64, Merrick, NY; Neal Sultzer, 61, Plainview, NY; Michael Raphan, 63, Oceanside, NY; Michael Schlussel, 50, Merrick, NY; Jacquelyn Todaro, 41, Westbury, NY; Kevin Hymowitz, 38, Armonk, NY; Michael Charles, 61, Valley Stream, NY; Ralph Delgiorno, 38, Merrick, NY; and Pandora Bacon, 54, Newark, NJ, have each been charged in connection with their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme involving over 100 home mortgage loans valued at … (0 comments)

real estate fraud: Man Sentenced for Stealing Mortgage Payments - 08/10/11 03:22 AM
Man Sentenced for Stealing Mortgage Payments Joseph Lawrence Yorkus, 50, Las Vegas, Nevada, was sentenced by Judge Linda Bell to prison in connection with a mortgage scam involvingNevada homeowners. Yorkus was sentenced to a maximum of 102 months with a minimum of 24 months in the Nevada State Prison and ordered him to pay restitution to the victims in the amount of $346,155.15 for schemes relating to mortgage fraud, mortgage rescue fraud, credit repair and collection enterprises.
Yorkus created several businesses including Great Western Business Services, Sundance Consulting, BAC Collections, Learn Your Rights and Fresh Start Consulting and used them to obtain money … (2 comments)

real estate fraud: Conspirator Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud - 08/09/11 07:53 PM
Conspirator Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud Jose Arnaldo Rosario
On July 1, 2011, Rosario pled guilty to a one count Criminal Information, charging him with conspiracy to commit money laundering and wire fraud, in violation of Title 18, United States Code, Section 371.  According to the Information and statements made during the plea hearing, from at least November 2005 to January 1, 2007, Rosario and his coconspirators purchased two units at 1331 Brickell Bay Drive, Miami-Dade County, Florida, using bank loans they obtained through fraud, including the submission of false financial information, inflated property values, and straw buyers, among other misrepresentations.
According … (2 comments)

real estate fraud: Fugitive Real Estate Developer Charged with Fraud - 08/09/11 06:54 PM
Fugitive Real Estate Developer Charged with Fraud Paul John McMann, 52, Weston, Massachusetts, a real estate developer and entrepreneur, has been indicted and charged with defrauding numerous individuals through the use of fraudulent bank documents. McMann remained at-large, outside of the United States, until he was detained on July 10, 2011, in Cyprus by local authorities in response to a notice issued by Interpol. Cyprus authorities turned McMann over to the U.S. Marshals Service on August 4, 2011. A detention hearing is set for August 10, 2011, before U.S. Magistrate Judge Jennifer C. Boal.
The indictment alleges that in October and November … (2 comments)

real estate fraud: Identity Thief Admits Mortgage Fraud - 08/09/11 06:48 PM
Identity Thief Admits Mortgage Fraud Jose Ricardo Ramirez, 44, Adelphi, Maryland, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Peter J. Messitte to 18 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.  Judge Messitte also filed an initial order for Ramirez to pay restitution of $105,000, with an additional amount to be determined after further review of the loss to the mortgage companies. According to his plea, from August through December 2006, Ramirezpurchased properties in Silver Spring and Germantown, Maryland, using the name of another person, without that person’s knowledge or permission.  Ramirez conducted … (2 comments)

 
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David Saks

Memphis, TN

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Most real estate fraud-related articles and Department of Justice Press Releases published here are taken from the public record, which normally include press releases and court documents related to each entry and case. Any other type of record, i.e. newspaper reports, are only published after consent has been obtained from the original publisher. Nothing will be published that has not been verified via the public record or consent provided.The use of the names or initials of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Drug Enforcement Administration, and the United States Marshals Service is governed by 18 U.S.C. sec. 709, which prohibits their unauthorized use in a manner calculated to convey the impression that such use is approved, endorsed, or authorized by that component, unless written permission has been received from the head of the respective component. Where initials are found within this blog site they are not used in a manner calculated to convey the impression that such use is approved, endorsed or authorized by that component. Please see the Department of Justice Legal Policies at:http://www.justice.gov/legalpoliciesPlease contact David with any questions.
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