Archives For Illinois

Sergio Garcia, Sr., 46, Chicago, Illinois and Sergio Garcia, Jr., 27, Lowell, Indiana were indicted by a federal grand jury and charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and ten substantive counts of mail fraud.  The indictment also charges Timothy D. Greene, 29, Lansing,Illinois with submitting fraudulent information to HUD. All three were charged in connection with their part in a house flipping scheme involving HUD properties.

The indictment alleges that between January 1, 2011 and May 31, 2014,  Sergio Garcia, Sr. and Sergio Garcia, Jr. conspired with others known and unknown to the Grand Jury to engage in a scheme to defraud and to obtain money by means of false pretenses, representations and promises.

The alleged scheme involved offering to buy more than 40 HUD homes situated in the following cities or towns in Indiana:  Gary, Hammond, Merrillville, Whiting, East Chicago, Hobart, St. John, Valparaiso, and Lake Village; as well as the following cities or towns in Illinois:  Cicero, Chicago, Maywood, Alsip, Stone Park, Riverdale, Chicago Heights, Berwyn, Lansing, Stickney, and Evergreen Park.  The conspirators sought to purchase the homes from HUD and sell them the same day or soon thereafter for a profit to subsequent buyers.

The purchase contracts provided to HUD to purchase the properties stated that the conspirators or one of their businesses were purchasing the properties as investors and would pay with cash or use other financing not involving FHA.  To support their claimed financial ability to pay for the homes, the conspirators mailed fraudulent letters purporting to show that they or their company had access to the funds needed to complete each purchase.  Many of the letters purported to be written by a private venture capital business and falsely stated that a conspirator or their business held a line of credit of up to $500,000.00, when in fact, as the conspirators well knew: these letters were altered, forged and counterfeited; the lines of credit referenced therein did not exist; and the signatures thereon were forged and unauthorized.

The alleged scheme further involved the conspirators placing their own “for sale” signs at the HUD homes before their purchase from HUD had occurred.

When the conspirators could not find a subsequent purchaser to buy the homes, they allowed their purchase contracts with HUD to expire.  The conspirators filed false liens on many of the HUD homes after their purchase contracts expired.  The false liens hindered HUD from selling the homes to subsequent purchasers.  The conspirators requested money from subsequent purchasers to release the false liens.

The indictment also alleges that on or about February 13, 2012, Timothy Daniel Greene provided a fraudulent letter to HUD stating he held an approved line of credit with a venture capital business and that he did so for the purpose of influencing HUD to approve a purchase offer he had submitted for a property in Chicago, IL.

The indictment was announced by United States Attorney David A. Capp.  The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General.  The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Jill R. Koster.

Regina Taylor, 59, Chicago, Illinois, a former clerk for the Cook County, Illinois, Recorder of Deeds, accepted a $200 cash bribe in exchange for preparing and agreeing to record a back-dated deed on an Oak Park, Illinois, home, according to a federal indictment.  Taylor accepted the bribe from an individual who purportedly wanted to add a relative’s name to the deed.  Unbeknownst to Taylor, the individual was actually an undercover law enforcement agent, the indictment states. Continue Reading…

A father and son schemed with a Chicago attorney and a Lincolnwood businessman to sell $2.9 million in phony mortgages to more than a dozen duped investors, according to a federal indictment.

Albert Rossini, 67, the owner of Devon Street Investments Ltd., Lincolnwood, Illinois plotted with Babajan Khoshabe, 74, Chicago, Illinois, and Khoshabe’s son, Anthony Khoshabe, 33, Skokie, Illinois, to fraudulently induce at least 15 victims into purchasing purported mortgage notes on apartment buildings in foreclosure, according to the indictment. The trio promised that investors would receive rental income from occupants of the buildings, followed by title to the properties at the conclusion of the foreclosure process, the indictment states. In reality, it was a ponzi scheme.  the trio did not own the mortgage notes, and instead used the victims’ funds to make Ponzi-type payments to other investors and pocket the rest, according to the indictment. Continue Reading…

Calvin A. Townsend was indicted in a twenty-six count indictment, along with twenty other co-defendants, for participation in a mortgage fraud scheme headed by ringleader Bobbie Brown. Townsend, a licensed real estate agent and owner of Custom Home Service Corporation, was charged with bank fraud and mail fraud. He pled not guilty and, along with five other co-defendants, was tried before a jury. On July 8, 2011, the jury found Townsend guilty on all counts.

Townsend filed a petition with the District Court for the Northern Division of Illinois seeking to vacate, set aside, or correct the resulting 118 month sentence. He argued that he had ineffective assistance of counsel, exculpatory evidence was excluded, and argued further that there was a conspiracy to obstruct justice between his attorneys, the prosecutors, and the trial judge (the same judge hearing the petition to vacate.) The judge recused himself on the claims that he (the judge) had personally engaged in a conspiracy to obstruct justice and considered the remaining requests for relief. Continue Reading…

Pair charged in ‘squatter scheme’ back in jail after judge sets higher bonds

Two men suspected of running a scam in which they took over and rented out abandoned properties are behind bars Wednesday after prosecutors lobbied a judge to raise their bonds, the Sun-Times is reporting.

Chicagoans Torrez Moore and David Farr were released on their own recognizance, with home monitoring, July 1 after allegedly living in and renting out over two dozen foreclosed homes in a scheme Cook County State’s Attorney Anita Alvarez described as “disturbing” and “bold and brazen.”

Former Eagle Fryar’s fraud trial begins

Former Eagles wide receiver Irving Fryar and his mother went on trial Tuesday on charges they conspired to defraud six banks in South Jersey and Philadelphia as part of a $1 million mortgage scheme.

If they are convicted of the conspiracy and theft-by-deception charges lodged against them, they could face five to 10 years in prison and up to $150,000 in fines, according to the state attorney general, whose office is handling the contentious case in Mount Holly.

George Dravilas, real estate broker, 37, Medinah, Illinois, was sentenced to 16 months in federal prison for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme involving a pair of Chicago apartment buildings.  Dravilas pled guilty in February to one count of bank fraud.  In addition to the prison term, U.S. District Judge Gary Feinerman ordered Dravilas to pay $463,110 in restitution.  Dravilas will begin serving his sentence no later than Sept. 21, 2015. Continue Reading…

Vince Manglardi, 59, real estate developer, Long Grove, Illinois; Theodore “TJ” Wojtas, Jr., 43, real estate developer, Glenview, Illinois; David W. Belconis, 56, attorney who owned and operated Classic Title, Inc., Long Grove, Illinois; Nunzio L. Greico, 63, Palatine, Illinois, who was formerly an employee of the developers; Walter Vali, also known as “Wally Mohammad” and “Mohammad Valimohammad,” 62, former mortgage loan originator, who did business as Sunshine Funding, Inc., Mundelein, Illinois; and Karin L. Ganswer, 62, former licensed real estate salesperson, Palatine, Illinois were indicted by an federal grand jury and charged with mail and wire fraud in connection with the marketing and sale of condominiums at a 50-acre development in Palatine, Illinois known as “The Woods at Countryside.”  They are alleged to have participated in a mortgage fraud scheme which caused more than $16 million in losses to banks, mortgage lenders, Fannie Mae, and Freddie Mac. Continue Reading…

According to the Huffington Post, Chicago Cook County Judge David Atkins granted Attorney General Lisa Madigan’s request for an injunction against Mark Diamond in connection with the lawsuit she filed against him in 2009.

In the 2009 suit Diamond was accused of bilking elderly black homeowners out of more than $1.3 million through a reverse mortgage/home repair scam.

According to Madigan:

“For too many years, Mark Diamond defrauded the most vulnerable people in our society,” Madigan said in a statement. “He stole the financial security that these families struggled to build over a lifetime. It is deplorable that he got away with his scheme for so many years. The preliminary injunction provides a small victory for those who have already lost so much but will at least prevent additional people from losing their homes and savings to one of Diamond’s reverse mortgage scams.”

Maximus A. Yaney, 38, New York, New York, pled guilty to mortgage fraud and was sentenced by United States District Judge J. Phil Gilbert to 18 months in federal prison, followed by two years of supervised release. Yaney made several misrepresentations and engaged in numerous fraudulent acts in order to persuade lenders to finance the purported $9,780,000 sale of one of the rental properties.

Continue Reading…