Archives For Identity Theft

Xavier Milton Earquhart, 30, Greensboro, North Carolina, was convicted following a three-day jury trial of an extensive bank lien theft scheme, money laundering, and aggravated identity theft.

The evidence at trial showed that, in one bank fraud scheme, the defendant forged a deed on a property owned by an out of state landowner, and then channeled the property ownership through fictitious individuals and a holding company before personally taking title to the property.  The defendant then attempted to secure $495,000 in home equity loans using the property as collateral, becoming successful on three such attempts.

In a second scheme, the evidence showed that the defendant forged bank lien releases on 8 properties, in some instances, by stealing the identities of bank employees, and in other instances, using fictitious notaries.  The defendant created Delaware holding companies to conceal his activities. The defendant then sold the properties off to unknowing third parties.  At trial, the evidence showed that because of the defendant’s actions, some homeowners lost the funds that they had invested into the properties.  Other victims were left uncertain as to the ability of their families to remain in the homes due to the cloud upon their title.

Lastly, the evidence at trial included evidence from law enforcement concerning the tracing of the defendant’s fraudulent gains.  Law enforcement used a note and key found in the defendant’s Prius to uncover a hidden trove of $300,000 worth of gold, concealed in a storage unit in Spring, Texas.  Law enforcement also seized various items of valuable recording studio equipment.

The jury found Earquhart guilty of ten counts of Bank Fraud, two counts of Engaging in Monetary Transactions Involving Criminally Derived Property and one count of Aggravated Identity Theft and Aiding and Abetting.  Following the jury trial, the jury further found that the defendant was obligated to forfeit more than $1.3 Million in fraudulent proceeds, more than $100,000 in recording studio equipment, and $300,000 in gold bullion and coins.

Earquhart is tentatively scheduled to be sentenced by Senior United States District Judge W. Earl Britt in July 2018 and faces up to 30 years imprisonment.

The investigation of this case was conducted by the IRS Criminal Investigation, with the assistance of the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation Office of the Inspector General, the Wake County Register of Deeds, Wake County Sheriff’s Office, United States Secret Service and the Bankruptcy Administrator for the Eastern District of North Carolina.  Assistant United States Attorney William M. Gilmore represented the government in this case.

Franchesco Franco, 34, a former mortgage loan originator, Providence, Rhode Island, pleaded guilty in federal court to conspiracy to commit bank fraud for his participation with a local real estate attorney and others in a scheme to defraud Flagstar Bank, by filing a fraudulent mortgage loan application and supporting documentation in the name of a person known to him who had recently died, in order to secure a loan in the amount of $157,102 for the purchase of a residence at 63 Wendell Street, Providence, Rhode Island.

According to court documents, after the mortgage was issued, Franco filed fraudulent documents in the deceased person’s name in order to have his own name added to the deed for the property. Loan payments were never made to Flagstar Bank, an FHA-insured lender, by Franco or anyone else. As a result, the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) paid an insurance claim to Flagstar Bank for the unpaid balance of the loan in the amount of $165,062. According to court documents, a corporation formed by the real estate attorney, an alleged co-conspirator in this matter, later purchased the note for $35,000. Continue Reading…

Ardonus “Donna” Perkins, 40, Atlanta, Georgia, the former Assistant Vice President of Risk Management of the Credit Union of Georgia, has pleaded guilty to a charge of mail fraud for causing the credit union to disburse over $300,000 in fraudulent loans.

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Edgar Tibakweitira, a/k/a Edgar Julian, Charles Edgar Tibakweitira, and Edgar Gaudious Tibakweitira, 46, Severn, Maryland,  was sentenced by District Judge George J. Hazel to 57 months in prison, followed by five years of supervised release, for conspiracy to commit wire fraud and aggravated identity theft, arising from a residential mortgage fraud scheme.

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Andre Lamont Chenier, 41, Houston, Texas, has been arrested on allegations he engaged in an eight-year bank fraud, identity theft and money laundering scheme. Chenier allegedly submitted a personal financial statement that listed fictitious assets as well as tax returns that contained the Social Security number of someone else.

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Linda Sue Newcomb, 63, Madison Heights, Virginia, who was the former manager of the Lynrocten Federal Credit Union, pled guilty in United States District Court for the Western District of Virginia to embezzlement, bank fraud and identity theft charges for her role in originating loans in the names of credit union members without those members’ knowledge or consent, including forging the member’s name to fictitious loan documents. Continue Reading…

Rachel Siders, 39, Roseville, California, was convicted by a federal jury and found guilty of bank fraud, making a false loan application, and committing aggravated identity theft. Continue Reading…

Sharon Lynn Shaw, 67, San Jose, California, pleaded guilty in federal court to bank fraud and theft by bank officer. Shaw admitted that she used the names, Social Security numbers, and other personal information belonging to her parents, without their knowledge or authorization, to create false and fraudulent loan applications which she submitted to her employer Wells Fargo Bank.

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Delores Reeves, 59, Fortuna, California, has been indicted and charged with three counts of mail fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft for allegedly retaining funds intended for hard money real estate loans. Continue Reading…

Julie L. Duffield, 45, Eureka, Montana, owner and operator of Professional Closing Company, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud concerning her role in an identity theft and straw buyer scheme.

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