Rosemary Anton, Phoenix, Arizona, was charged by information in a short sale fraud and pled guilty to one count of conspiracy in the United States District Court for the District of Arizona. Sentencing is scheduled for May 8, 2017.
According to the Information, in March 2005, Anton purchased a home located at 3612 East Elm Street, Phoenix, Arizona for $712,000 and obtained two mortgage loans to finance the purchase.
In July 2011, Anton, with the assistance of a real estate agent who is not identified in the information, began trying to sell the property to get her out of the large loan. Anton and the real estate agent devised a plan whereby Anton would short sell the property to a person who was related to both Anton and the real estate agent. Anton was to provide all the funds for the relation to purchase the property and Anton would continue to live in the property. This would allow Anton to stay in the property for half of the amount she originally paid.
Anton and the relation signed a purchase contract with a sales price of $340,000.
As part of the short sale process, they both also signed a “Purchaser Eligibility Certification” which provided that the transaction was arm’s length, that the buyers, sellers and real estate agent did not have a family or business relationship, and there were no agreements by which the seller would remain in the property as tenant or regain ownership.
Anton stated in the short sale package that she had $13,000 in retirement assets when, in fact, she had over $316,000 in retirement assets.
The short sale was approved and completed based on the information and certification submitted.
Anton continued to reside in the property and, less than three years after the short sale, Anton purchased the property from the relation for $340,000, an amount far below the market value of the property in June 2104. The relation received a wire from Anton via the title company for the net proceeds of this sale and, that same day, the real estate agent and relation wired all of the sales proceeds into Anton’s bank account. Anton then wrote a check to the real estate agent for $90,000. The wires and checks formed the basis of the charges for conspiracy to engage in monetary transactions derived from specified unlawful activity.