Ronnie Edward Duke, Fenton, Michigan, was sentenced to 13 years in prison in connection with a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud conspiracy. On June 3, 2013, he was scheduled to self-surrender and begin serving his sentence. Duke failed to appear. After being on the run for eight months, he was arrested on February 24, 2014.
As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, on June 5, 2013, the government filed a Motion seeking issuance of a Bench Warrant and Forfeiture of Bond. The Court issued the warrant and ordered Duke‘s bond forfeit.
The scheme for which Duke was convicted involved more than 450 fraudulent mortgage loans, more than 100 straw buyers, and approximately 180 different residential properties in metropolitan Detroit, Michigan, that were used as collateral for the loans. Most of these loans went into default and foreclosure. The loans ranged from roughly $350,000 to $600,000. Lenders were deceived by counterfeit purchase agreements, fake closing documents, and fictitious title companies that were actually controlled by Duke and his co-conspirators.