Jury Convicts Straw Buyer of Mortgage Fraud

Allison Tussey —  January 11, 2013 — Leave a comment

Jon Nevins, 40, Leawood, Kansas, a straw buyer, was convicted in federal court of mortgage fraud.

The defendant was found guilty of all four charges contained in a February 1, 2012, federal indictment.

Nevins was found guilty of participating in a conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering from June 12 to July 14, 2006. Nevins was a straw buyer in the conspiracy, which was part of a $657,768 mortgage fraud scheme in which Nevins and co-defendant Craig A. Chambers, 47, Shawnee, Kansas, submitted false documentation in support of a mortgage loan application for a residence in Overland Park, Kan. Chambers, a former Gladstone police officer, worked as a mortgage broker during the criminal conspiracy.

Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in the U.S. District Court in Kansas City, Missouri, deliberated for about three hours before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. District Judge Dean Whipple, ending a trial that began Monday, Jan. 7, 2013.

In May or June of 2006, Chambers assisted a client with the sale of his residence in Overland Park. Although the client had been unsuccessful in selling the residence at the asking price of $592,000, Chambers told him he had a buyer – Nevins – who would purchase the residence for $649,000, based upon an inflated appraisal. The client would have to pay Nevins $75,000 after the sale closed, which he agreed to do.

On June 22, 2006, Chambers and Nevins executed a mortgage loan application in the amount of $649,000. On June 30, 2006, the sale of the residence closed at a title company in Gladstone, Mo. Nevins, acting as a buyer, signed the HUD-1, certifying that all loan proceeds were disbursed in accordance with the stated payouts in the HUD-1. However, the HUD-1 did not disclose the material fact that the seller would kick back $75,000 from the loan proceeds to Nevins. On June 30, 2006, the mortgage loan was funded through a bank wire in the amount of $657,768. On July 6, 2006, the property seller issued a check to Jon Nevins in the amount of $75,000 from the proceeds of the sale. On July 14, 2006, following the kickback of $75,000 to Nevins, Nevins gave Chambers a check for $14,500 out of the kickback funds.

Chambers pleaded guilty to his role in the conspiracy on Jan. 4, 2013 and awaits sentencing.

In addition to the conspiracy, Nevins was found guilty of one count of wire fraud and two counts of money laundering.

Under federal statutes, Nevins is subject to a sentence of up to 45 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $1 million. A sentencing hearing will be scheduled after the completion of a presentence investigation by the United States Probation Office.

Tammy Dickinson, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced the conviction.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney John E. Cowles. It was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation-Office of Inspector General, IRS B Office of Inspector General and the Department of Housing and Urban Development B Office of Inspector General.

Allison Tussey

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