Mortgage Broker Sentenced for Converting Escrow Funds for Personal Use

admin —  March 3, 2010 — Leave a comment

Terry Louis Lemke, 41, Brooklyn Center, Minnesota, a mortgage broker, was sentenced in federal court for using for personal benefit money deposited on behalf of clients into the escrow account at his mortgage title company.  Lemke was sentenced to 24 months in prison on one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering in connection to this crime. Lemke was charged via an Information on August 3, 2009, and pled guilty on August 14, 2009.

In his plea agreement and as previously reported on Mortgage Fraud Blog, Lemke admitted defrauding clients from June 2006 through 2007 by falsely representing to them that the funds they provided him as owner of All Metro Title, a mortgage brokerage company, were being held for their real estate transactions. Instead, Lemke was using that money for personal benefit. In total, Lemke defrauded clients of more than $800,000. As part of his scheme, Lemke caused a wire transfer of $193,226.76 from Lehman Brothers Bank in Colorado to an All Metro Title account on June 23, 2006. Then, on that same day, he paid $20,746.18 from the All Metro Title account toward his personal credit card bill, knowing the money was derived from wire fraud.

Following the sentencing, Julio LaRosa, Special Agent in Charge of the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division in St. Paul. Minnesota, said, “Mortgage fraud creates significant harm to individuals, businesses, and our economy. The sentence is a strong reminder of how serious our courts take this criminal activity. Those who line their pockets with profits from these schemes should know they will not go undetected and will be held accountable.”

This case was the result of an investigation by the IRS-Criminal Investigation Division. It was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Genrich.

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