Another Charged in Mortgage Fraud Case Involving 100 Properties

Allison Tussey —  April 12, 2013 — Leave a comment

Mark Murphy, 47, Williamstown, New Jersey, was charged by information with participating in a mortgage fraud conspiracy involving more than 100 Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, properties and more than $20 million in fraudulent loan proceeds.  Murphy is charged with one count of conspiracy to commit loan and wire fraud and one count of loan fraud. The information also seeks the criminal forfeiture of over $324,000 from Murphy.

Murphy is the fifth defendant charged in this district with participating in a massive mortgage fraud conspiracy that operated between May 2004 and February 2009, primarily in the West Philadelphia section of the city of Philadelphia, involving KREW Settlement Services. KREW is a Philadelphia real estate settlement company that is alleged to have been at the center of the conspiracy. Murphy is alleged to have directly participated in securing a $324,000 mortgage loan from Washington Mutual Bank on 4930 Kingsessing Avenue, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, based on the submission of a false loan application and other false documents. The information alleges that other co-conspirators helped prepare the false supporting documentation, including false appraisal and false tax returns for Murphy, and failed to record Washington Mutual Bank‘s mortgage.

The four co-conspirators charged in this district with participating in the same mortgage fraud conspiracy involving KREW are: Willie G. Manley, Jr., Eric Ponder, Rashika J. Moon, and Dontaya S. Devore. (A fifth co-conspirator, John William Polosky, a mortgage broker who is alleged to have knowingly brokered fraudulent loan packages for the KREW co-conspirators, has been charged in the Western District of Pennsylvania.)

According to the information, co-conspirator Willie G. Manley, charged elsewhere, was an accountant who created false income documents, such as W-2 forms, paystubs, and Form 1040 income tax returns, which were submitted to lenders. Co-conspirator Eric Ponder, charged elsewhere, is alleged to have held himself out as a real estate developer and helped cause the submission of numerous fraudulent loan applications that resulted in mortgages being unwittingly issued by various banks by, making false statements on loan applications in his own name and helping secure mortgages in the names of others by recruiting straw buyers whose identities and fraudulent information were used to obtain the loans. Ponder is also alleged to have submitted false invoices for construction work never performed on the properties in order to justify payments to him from the settlement proceeds of loans in the names of the straw buyers.

The conspiracy also included grossly inflated appraisals, false title insurance policies, false receipts for home repairs that were never performed, and straw buyers who knowingly allowed their names and identities to be used to purchase the properties and defraud the banks.

If convicted, Murphy faces a maximum possible sentence 35 years’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release, a fine of $1,250,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transactions, and a $200 special assessment.

United States Attorney Zane David Memeger announced the charges.

The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. Lowe.

An indictment or information is an accusation. A defendant is presumed innocent and unless proven guilty.

Allison Tussey

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