Real Estate Professionals Arrested in Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Reblogger Kristina Rosen-Hester
Real Estate Agent with TNT Realty & Associates

Unbelievable!    This is a crime i hope does not repeat itself.   Homeowners are hurt enough by the banks, arent they?        We work to help homeowners while also helping the banks when we short sell or modify a loan for a homeowner.    It gives great satisfaction when by word of mouth a new customer calls to have us list and sell his home because he knew of someone or saw how we work with the sellers, the buyers and the banks. 

 

Original content by Jason Rose School Sponsor 373

scalesHere is another example of a recent legal case involving mortgage fraud. I try to post case summaries in order to provide timely updates to real estate professionals on important issues.

On June 3, 2009, five people were arrested for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme in the Washington State that bilked banks and property sellers out of more than $18 million. The arrests came as a result of an extensive investigation by United States Immigration and Customs Enforcement (“ICE”).

Humerto A. Reyes-Rodriguez, Alexis Ikilikyan, Micki S. Thompson, Mario Marroquin, and William S. Poff were indicted by a federal grand jury last month on charges of money laundering and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud (they were arrested on June 3, 2009). The indictment alleges that over a three-year period starting in 2004, they were responsible for 80 fraudulent loan transactions in communities throughout King County and Pierce County, Washington.

Mr. Reyes-Rodriguez and Ms. Ikilikyan were licensed real estate agents and mortgage loan originators. Mr. Poff is Ms. Ikilikyan's ex-husband and was a licensed notary and loan originator. Mr. Thompson was employed by Great American Escrow and acted as the closing officer for many of the fraudulent sales. Mr. Marroquin acted as a straw buyer and oversaw fictitious home repair companies.

According to court documents, the five defendants worked together to obtain financing from banks to purchase homes. At the same time, they convinced innocent home sellers to extend private loans to the buyer of the home to cover a portion of the purchase price.

The sellers did not know that the conspirators had already obtained financing from commercial lenders to cover the full cost of the home. When payments were not made, the properties fell into foreclosure. The homes were then sold for less than the total of all loans secured for the property. The sellers who had extended private loans to the buyers were left with nothing.

The conspirators also used straw buyers to purchase and resell properties and then submitted false information to the banks such as employment, income, citizenship status, assets and liabilities. They submitted bogus appraisals and hired fictitious home repair companies to do repair work on the properties. Proceeds from the home sales would go to the fake companies that had, in fact, done no work.

This case uncovered a group of real estate professionals who manipulated home sales for pure profit while some of the properties went into foreclosure and innocent private citizens were defrauded.

The conspiracy and money laundering charges are punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a $1 million fine. An indictment is merely a formal charge by the grand jury. Each defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty in court.

I will try to keep following this case and post an update when the case is ultimately resolved, hopefully with all of the defendants getting long prison sentences.

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Rainer
20,997
sandy reid
Westwood Metes & Bounds - New Paltz, NY
period homes, second home market

Very interesting and unfortunately disgusting!  It really has been a sorrowful trip reading all that incorrect, dishonest, greedy people have done to put us in the shape we are in.  Thank you for following this case.

 

Best,

Sandy

Jun 13, 2009 08:44 PM #1
Rainer
333,733
Danny Thornton
R & D Art - Knoxville, TN
WordPress Guru

Kristina, I went looking for the original post and I can not find it. Did something happen to it?

Jun 14, 2009 11:46 AM #2
Anonymous
Anonymous

Yes, the original blog about foreclosure scam should be found in the home page.

Jun 14, 2009 01:02 PM #3
Anonymous
Anonymous

I read about this case yesterday -  too close to home with other realtors getting involved in scams.

Jun 14, 2009 01:04 PM #4
Rainer
74,425
Dan Magstadt
Paramount Residential Mortgage Group, Inc - Lake City, FL

Amazing!! These are the ones that should be prosecuted to the full extent of the law.

Best, Dan

Jun 15, 2009 01:27 AM #5
Rainmaker
820,820
Juli Vosmik
Dominion Fine Properties - Scottsdale, AZ
Scottsdale/Cave Creek, AZ real estate 480-710-0739

Actually, they are just a small handful of people and are just a drop in the bucket of the people doing this type of thing.  The mortgage company I used to work for found a group of "investors" and were caught in over ONE HUNDRED MILLION dollars in fraudulent transactions.  To the best of my knowledge, they are still FREE!!!!! and probably doing the same things, just under different names. 

Jun 15, 2009 08:53 AM #6
Anonymous
KristinaHester

Yes,  the task force that busted a large group of mortgage scams worked hard to find them all.   Unfortuately, there are probably some that will start it up again elsewhere. 

Jun 15, 2009 09:25 AM #7
Rainer
3,915
Kristina Rosen-Hester
TNT Realty & Associates - Stuart, FL
Real Estate Broker Associate

Save the date:     July 15th at IRSC  Chastain Campus in Stuart on Salerno Road.  Community Economy and Foreclosure 211 will take place.       A Panel of numerous county and gov. officials will be present.   This is for all homeowners so please feel free to recommend it to your neighbors, coworkers, etc.    We'll be handing out info.  There will be 15 min. discussions from panel members,

Jun 15, 2009 09:37 AM #8
Rainer
47,758
Andrew Lietzow
IaREIA | Iowa Landlord Association - Des Moines, IA
MBA-Exec Dir Iowa Real Estate Investors Association -

Looks like you're quite the initiator, Kristina.   Keep up the good work!  

Something like 97-99% of all Realtors and Mortgage Loan Originators are honest, caring, law abiding.  It's that 1% that makes the news and so many people cling to because it's salacious/sensational. 

Oh well, onward and upward!   Not going to let this get me down or distracted because there are still so many people to help during this challenging time.

Jun 16, 2009 05:44 AM #9
Rainer
333,733
Danny Thornton
R & D Art - Knoxville, TN
WordPress Guru

Andrew, I am with you. To hell with what all the other people are doing or did. I am more concerned about what I AM or can be doing to help my clients.

Jun 16, 2009 06:04 AM #10
Anonymous
Joel

Hey Kristina,

  Do you think your husband and you will return the $3,300 I gave you anytime soon?

I under stand you want a cliam for the $1,100 but the advance rent doesn't make sense why you will not return it. 

 

Where does it say you are allowed to keep rent for place that we never moved in?

 

I'm trying to get money to go to court. But it has been 6 weeks now and you will not return any money for the advance rent. Is this normal practise for you two?

 

Please help, my wife and 1 year old baby really need that money.

Jul 02, 2009 09:59 AM #11
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Kristina Rosen-Hester

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