Twelve people have been charged in an alleged mortgage fraud scheme: Ronald Burrell, 50, Cleveland, Ohio; Crystal Kelly, 44, Cleveland; Nicole Bakker, 28, Brunswick, Ohio; Jer’me Franklin, 46, Cleveland; Hoover White, 41, Cleveland; James Myers, 40, Westlake, Ohio; Raymond Litvin, 44, Cleveland; Duran Brown, 31, Cleveland; Marc Wilson, 42, Cleveland; Montresse Parham, 43, Cleveland; Vernon DuBose, 40, Warrensville Heights, Ohio; and Wesley Walker III, 41, a Texas resident.
The defendants have been charged with bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud in connection with a straw buyer scheme.
According to the indictment, the defendants participated in a conspiracy to purchase 21 homes in Cleveland and East Cleveland, Ohio, by procuring mortgage loans by fraudulent means. The defendants obtained in excess of $1.8 million from lenders, including Agent Mortgage Company, LLC, New Century Mortgage Corporation, and Long Beach Mortgage Company, to secure financing for the purchases.
From February 2005 through May 2007, Ronald Burrell is accused of buying the homes through one of his companies, Ohio Housing Network, making little or no improvements to the properties before flipping them to straw buyers/investors at an inflated purchase price.
Defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty.