Alshawntus Beck, 35, Plainfield, Illinois, Michelle Parker, 41, Steven Corbett, 41, Kevin Keller, 43, Jimmie D. Johnson, 38, and Otis Robinson III, 29, all of Chicago, Illinois, were charged with one or more counts of wire fraud in a nine-count indictment returned for allegedly engaging in a $3 million mortgage fraud scheme in the Chicago area. The indictment alleges that between February and December 2006, Beck operated three companies — Compass Investments and Development Corp., and West Horizon Construction, which purported to be in the business of buying, repairing and reselling real estate.
Assisted by Parker, a loan officer at an area mortgage broker, Beck allegedly brought three nominee buyers to the brokerage to apply for loans to purchase from him three condominium units located at 3834 West Maypole in Chicago. Corbett allegedly fraudulently applied for loans using the fictitious identity “Al Spann;” while Keller and Johnson allegedly fraudulently applied for loans using stolen identities. Beck also allegedly recruited Robinson III to create false real estate appraisals inflating the value of properties that Beck bought for himself and through nominees.
According to the indictment, Parker obtained false verifications of rent for Corbett and Buyer A. Similarly, Beck obtained forged documents falsely stating that Corbett was an employee of West Horizon Construction, and that Buyer A was an employee of Compass Investment and Development Corp., and Parker submitted the false documents to a lender to fraudulently obtain the loans. Parker also submitted to a lender a forged document provided by Beck that falsely stated that Keller had approximately $8,000 in a bank account that did not exist.
As part of the scheme, Parker also processed false loan applications for Keller, using a stolen identity, to purchase properties 3817 West Maypole, Chicago, Illinois and 6828 South Indiana, Chicago, Illinois. The loan application for the Maypole residence was supported by a forged document that Beck provided, which falsely stated that Keller was an employee of West Horizon Construction, the indictment alleges. The loan application for the Indiana Avenue residence was supported by a falsely inflated appraisal, allegedly created by Robinson using the name of a real estate appraiser whose identity Robinson had stolen.
The indictment also alleges that Beck purchased two properties in his own name: 3849-51 West Maypole, Chicago, Illinois and 2023 North Bingham, Chicago, Illinois. The application for the loan to purchase the Maypole property was supported by a false verification of rent provided by Parker, and both loan applications were supported by falsely inflated appraisals provided by Robinson. Four months after buying 2023 North Bingham, Beck sold the property to Buyer B for a price that was 56 percent higher than Beck had paid by using another falsely inflated appraisal provided by Robinson, the charges allege.
The indictment seeks forfeiture of $3 million from the defendants. Arrest warrants were issued for all six, who will also be ordered to appear for arraignment at a later date.
The Government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford Histed.