Andrea Goode-James, 44, Roxbury, Massachusetts, a closing attorney, was convicted in federal court of mortgage fraud for pocketing more than $1 million in proceeds of loan closing transactions.
Goode-James pled guilty before U.S. District Judge Douglas P. Woodlock to one count of mail fraud and three counts of wire fraud, all arising out of her scheme to defraud various mortgage lenders, a title insurance company and innocent homeowners.
At the plea hearing, the prosecutor told the Court that had the case proceeded to trial the Government’s evidence would have proven that Goode-James performed closings on three different properties between 2005 and 2007, and pocketed more than $1 million in lender proceeds, rather than using those funds to pay off pre-existing mortgages as directed by the lenders. To conceal her fraud, Goode-James made some monthly payments on the pre-existing mortgage loans. She also issued title insurance commitments to the new lenders, which bound the title insurance company for title defects and misled lenders to believe that she had in fact cleared title by paying off prior loans and obtaining discharges of those mortgages.
Judge Woodlock scheduled sentencing for October 29, 2009. Goode-James faces up to 30 years imprisonment, to be followed by five years of supervised release and a $1 million fine on each of the four counts.
Acting United States Attorney Michael K. Loucks and Robert Malaby, Inspector in Charge of the United States Postal Inspection Service, made the announcement. The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service. It is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Mark J. Balthazard and Sarah E. Walters of Loucks’ Economic Crimes Unit.