Marshall E. Home and Margaret Elizabeth Broderick, Tucson, Arizona, have been indicted and charged for bankruptcy fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud for their roles in an alleged foreclosure rescue scheme.
The indictment alleges that Home and Broderick operated “The Individual Right Party; Mortgage Rescue Service” which offered, for a $500 fee, relief for people facing mortgage foreclosure. Rather than providing relief, the pair filed false documents in U.S. Bankruptcy Court, making false claims against the United States. The false claims totaled over $250 billion.
In addition, the indictment alleges that the defendants essentially tried to assume the identities of the Federal National Mortgage Association (better known as “Fannie Mae”) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (better known as “Freddie Mac.”) The defendants then filed deeds purporting to transfer title to real estate owned by Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to an entity controlled by the defendants. The defendants attempted to steal at least 28 properties from Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac in this manner.
Acting U.S. Attorney Ann Birmingham Scheel stated that, “Making false claims against the government harms each of us. This office will continue to pursue cases involving individuals who attempt to illegally benefit from the current mortgage crisis.”
Inspector General Steve Linick said that, “the Federal Housing Finance Agency Office of Inspector General was created, in part, to investigate fraud against Freddie Mac and Fannie Mae, which are currently under conservatorship of the U.S. Government. The taxpayers have invested over $163 billion in Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac to date.” Inspector General Linick praised the U.S. Attorney’s Office and Federal Bureau of Investigation for their cooperative efforts in protecting the assets of Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac and the interests of the American taxpayers.
The three counts of bankruptcy fraud each carry a maximum penalty of five years in federal prison, a $250,000 fine or both. The seven counts of mail and wire fraud each carry a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison, a $250,000 fine, or both. In determining an actual sentence, the sentencing Judge will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence. An indictment is simply a method by which a person is charged with criminal activity and raises no inference of guilt. An individual is presumed innocent until competent evidence is presented to a jury that established guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
The investigation preceding the indictment was conducted by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Federal Housing Finance Agency, Office of Inspector General. The prosecution is being handled by the U.S. Attorney’s Office in Tucson.