Daniel R. Hagen, 35, New York, and formerly of Cleveland, Ohio, was indicted on five counts of mortgage fraud offenses including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity. Hagen‘s arraignment is scheduled for April 12, 2011.
Hagen allegedly participated in a mortgage fraud criminal enterprise led by Jeffery St. Martin, who was recently sentenced to six years in prison, that involved 21 houses purchased with fraudulent loans totaling 3.1 million dollars. Hagen’s role in this enterprise involved four houses totaling $403,500 in fraudulent loans for three houses located at: 3144 W. 61st, 2065 W. 44th, and 1830 W. 52nd, Cleveland, Ohio; and 878 E. 94th Street, Garfield Heights, Ohio.
To deceive the lender, Hagen engaged in loan application fraud, down-payment scheme, and kickbacks upon closing the sale of these houses. He purchased one house with a false loan application that inflated his income and provided fake down payments on all four houses. Hagen gave the down payment to the title company and then received the money back at closing. Hagen worked with Edreeysa Ashraf, 46, Atlanta, Georgia, an associate of St. Martin and a friend of Hagen. The title company owner and Ashraf each pleaded guilty in an earlier case.
In a separate mortgage fraud case, defendant Donna Sherman and her title company were arraigned in Common Pleas Court. Each pleaded not guilty yesterday to charges of mortgage fraud involving 1.4 million dollars in loans for 21 houses. Bond was set at $15,000. Judge Jose’ Villanueva was assigned to the case. Sherman‘s case was investigated by the Cleveland office of the FBI in connection with their participation in the Mortgage Fraud Task Force.
Sherman and her company were indicted by a Grand Jury on 46 felony counts including charges of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, tampering with records, theft by deception, and telecommunications fraud for their conduct in engaging in a large criminal enterprise from 2002 to 2005. Sherman closed these fraudulent loans while first employed as an escrow officer at Titles, Etc. in 2002 and 2003, and then later as the owner of her own company that she started in 2004.
This enterprise was orchestrated by Fred Loewinger, 62, Strongsville, Ohio, who was a licensed loan officer and owner of Fast Mortgage, and the owner of MJL Processing, Ltd., Inc. In a related case, Loewinger and others were charged and sentenced for their involvement in the second phase of this enterprise. On February 15, 2011, he was sentenced to six years in prison after entering a guilty plea to engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity along with 25 additional felonies. As part of the plea, Loewinger and other defendants who accepted pleas will be called as witnesses against Sherman.
These cases were investigated by the Cuyahoga County Mortgage Fraud Task Force. The Task Force is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The director of the Task Force is a Sergeant of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office.
County Prosecutor Bill Mason and the Cuyahoga County Mortgage Fraud Task Force operating under authorization of Ohio Attorney General and Ohio’s Organized Crime Investigations Commission announced the charges.