Archives For Mortgage Fraud

Paul Manafort, 69, Palm Beach Gardens, Florida, was indicted today for a yearlong residential mortgage fraud scheme.

Manafort and others falsified business records to illegally obtain millions of dollars. Manafort is charged in a New York State Supreme Court indictment filed on March 7, 2019, with Residential Mortgage Fraud in the First Degree, Attempted Residential Mortgage Fraud in the First Degree, Conspiracy in the Fourth Degree, Falsifying Business Records in the First Degree, and Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree.

A copy of the indictment is available here.

Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus R. Vance, Jr. made the announcement.

No one is beyond the law in New York,” said District Attorney Vance. “Following an investigation commenced by our Office in March 2017, a Manhattan grand jury has charged Mr. Manafort with state criminal violations which strike at the heart of New York’s sovereign interests, including the integrity of our residential mortgage market. I thank our prosecutors for their meticulous investigation, which has yielded serious criminal charges for which the defendant has not been held accountable.”

The prosecution of this case is being handled by Assistant D.A. and Senior Investigative Counsel Peirce Moser and Assistant D.A.s Sean Pippen, James Graham, Lisa White, and Kevin Wilson under the supervision of Assistant D.A. Christopher Conroy (Chief of the Major Economic Crimes Bureau) and Executive Assistant D.A. Michael Sachs (Chief of the Investigation Division). Trial Preparation Assistants Caroline Adelson, Sophie Hoblit, and Alexander Petrillo, as well as Investigator Daniel Schoenfeld and Forensic Accountant Investigator Jeffrey Leap, assisted with the investigation.

The charges contained in the indictment are merely allegations, and the defendant is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty. All factual recitations are derived from documents filed in court.

Patrick Lee, 46, formerly of Canton and Easton, Massachusetts,  a dual United States-Irish citizen was sentenced yesterday on charges arising out of a multi-year mortgage fraud scheme.

Between July 2005 and May 2007, Lee engaged with others in a mortgage fraud scheme. Specifically, Lee or a relative bought five multi-family buildings in Dorchester and South Boston, Massachusetts financed those purchases with fraudulently obtained mortgage loans, and quickly converted the buildings to condominiums which facilitated the resale of individual units in the buildings to straw buyers. The straw buyers were recruited for this purpose and their purchases were financed with fraudulently obtained mortgage loans. The straw buyers were assured that they would not have to put any money down or pay the mortgages, and that they would get a fee at closing and/or a share of the profits when the properties were sold. The loans were funded with interstate wire transfers from the mortgage lenders to the closing attorneys’ conveyancing accounts, and the proceeds were then distributed to Lee and/or a family member, the recruiters, and others involved in the scheme. According to the government, mortgage lenders suffered losses of about $3.9 million. Many of the lenders are no longer in business or no longer hold the fraudulent loans at issue. http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/?s=Patrick+Lee

Lee was sentenced to four years in prison, three years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution of $842,552 to victim lenders. Lee will also be subject to asset forfeiture, in an amount to be determined later.

In November 2018, Lee pleaded guilty to wire fraud and making an unlawful monetary transaction. He was extradited from Ireland in 2017 to face the charges, marking the first extradition from Ireland to the United States since 2012.

United States Attorney Andrew E. Lelling; Kristina O’Connell, Special Agent in Charge of the Internal Revenue Service’s Criminal Investigations in Boston; Stephen A. Marks, Special Agent in Charge of the U.S. Secret Service, Boston Field Office; and John Gibbons, U.S. Marshal for the District of Massachusetts, made the announcement today. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Sandra S. Bower and Christine Wichers of Lelling’s Criminal Division prosecuted the case.

Allen Seymour, 50 and Tina Seymour, 46, both from Oxford, Massachusetts have been indicted today in connection with a scheme to defraud homeowners and mortgage lenders by providing fraudulent documents in legal and real estate transactions in Cambridge and Brookline, Massachusetts.

The Attorney General’s Office alleges that throughout 2017 and 2018, Allen Seymour repeatedly targeted homeowners, including elderly residents, to fraudulently gain control of residential properties and resell them at a profit to investors. The AG’s Office also alleges that Seymour forged power of attorney documents in the name of homeowners and others to gain control over the seller’s proceeds, and then laundered those funds through third party accounts.

Allen Seymour was arrested in South Carolina in May and is currently being held without bail pending probation surrender hearing scheduled for a later date. Seymour will appear in Worcester Superior Court on January 9, 2019 for a hearing regarding his probation surrender.

The AG’s Office alleges that Allen’s former wife, Tina Seymour, assisted with these forgeries and provided unauthorized access to notary stamps.

In 2010, Seymour previously pleaded guilty and was sentenced to state prison for a similar mortgage fraud scheme prosecuted by the AG’s Office.

Allen Seymour was indicted by a Statewide Grand Jury on charges of Forgery (7 counts), Uttering (5 counts), Larceny over $250 (5 counts), and Money Laundering (5 counts). Tina Seymour was indicted for Conspiracy to Commit Forgery (2 Counts). Allen Seymour will be arraigned in Norfolk Superior Court at a later date. Tina Seymour will be arraigned in Hampden Superior Court at a later date.

These new charges are allegations and the defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty. The investigation into this matter is ongoing.

Attorney General Maura Healey made the announcement today.

This case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorneys General Edward Beagan and Sara Shannon of AG Healey’s White Collar & Public Integrity Division, and investigated by Anthony Taylor of the AG’s Financial Investigations Division. The Massachusetts State Police, the Brookline Police, the Cambridge Police, the Federal Bureau of Investigations, and the Horry County Sheriff’s Department of South Carolina assisted with this investigation.

Jason Anthony Martinez, 38, Tampa, Florida has been sentenced to an additional three months’ imprisonment for a total of 27 months’ imprisonment for lying to the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Financial Litigation Unit and U.S. Probation to avoid his restitution obligation in a mortgage-related fraud case.

According to the plea agreement, Martinez was previously convicted and ordered to pay $3,008,551.01 in restitution. On October 24, 2017, Martinez signed and submitted a Financial Disclosure Form, upon which he falsely claimed a net income that was approximately half his actual net income and failed to disclose a number of credit accounts. This false information materially and adversely affected the resulting restitution-related payment calculations in his prior case. http://www.mortgagefraudblog.com/?s=Jason+Anthony+Martinez

In addition, he was sentenced to an additional two years of supervised release, extending his post-incarceration supervision to a total of five years.

The U.S. Attorney’s Office, recognizing the critical importance of recovering restitution for victims, has a Financial Litigation Unit that collects criminal monetary penalties, including restitution, imposed on criminal defendants by the U.S. District Court as part of his or her sentence. One of the tools used by the Unit to collect restitution is the Financial Disclosure Statement, which requires defendants to truthfully disclose, among other things, their income, expenses, assets, and liabilities.

This case was investigated by the U.S. Attorney’s Office’s Economic Crimes Section. It was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Thomas N. Palermo.

James Gerard Temme, 50, Plano, Texas has been sentenced today to federal prison for wire fraud.

According to information presented in court, in 2011, Temme engaged in wire fraud by inducing individuals to invest in a package of mortgages, misrepresenting that he had the ability to sell the package to the investors.  Temme provided a forged signature to induce the investment, eventually receiving over $3 million from the investors, when in fact he never actually sold the package of mortgages to the investors.  Temme was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 21, 2016 and charged with federal violations.

Temme pleaded guilty on Oct. 11, 2017, to wire fraud and was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison on Oct. 16, 2018 by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.  Temme was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,933,667.48.

U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown made the announcement.

“White collar theft often hurts victims just as much as thefts that happen with a gun,” said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown. “This was a lot of money.  I am proud of the FBI investigators for pursuing it aggressively, and a prison sentence was wholly justified in this case.”

Mr. Temme, knowingly acted in an unscrupulous and reckless manner to entice many innocent people into making investments that were unsound,” said Eric K. Jackson, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Division. “Economic fraud is becoming common place, but we will continue to target the offenders and bring the appropriate charges, while protecting the citizens’ rights to fair and trustworthy services.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.

 

IRVINE, Calif.–(BUSINESS WIRE)–CoreLogic® (NYSE: CLGX), a leading global property information, analytics and data-enabled solutions provider, today released its latest Mortgage Fraud Report. The report shows a 12.4 percent year-over-year increase in fraud risk at the end of the second quarter, as measured by the CoreLogic Mortgage Application Fraud Risk Index.

Source: CoreLogic Reports a 12.4 Percent Year-over-Year Increase in Mortgage Fraud Risk for the Second Quarter of 2018 | Business Wire

Brian Roy Lozito, Jacksonville, Florida, has been charged today for deceptively marketing and selling mortgage and foreclosure relief services to consumers throughout the United States, defrauding consumers out of more than $160,000.

Lozito, while doing business as American Investigative Services, LLC allegedly deceived more than 150 consumers by claiming to provide services in return for payments upfront.

According to the complaint, American Investigative Services solicited upfront payments from consumers promising to conduct a forensic audit of consumers’ mortgage documentation in order to uncover evidence of improper robosigning, or improper notarization, assignment, or recording of the mortgage documents, or other technical deficiencies. The defendants told consumers that if these purported legal deficiencies were uncovered in mortgage documents, the lender would be unable to foreclose on the consumer’s mortgage, and the consumer would thereby own the home free and clear, even if the consumer stopped making mortgage payments to the lender. The defendants even claimed that consumers could recover mortgage payments the consumers had previously made to mortgage companies.

The complaint also alleges that the defendants performed none of the promised services, and instead used the money obtained from consumers to pay Lozito’s personal expenses. The complaint alleges violations of Florida’s Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act, and seeks permanent injunctive relief, restitution, civil penalties and fees.

Attorney General Pam Bondi made the announcement.

Consumers who paid fees to the above-named entity or individual can file a complaint by calling 1(866) 9NO-SCAM or file online at MyFloridaLegal.com

To view the complaint, click here.

Maria Santa, 41, Sacramento, California, was sentenced today to one year and one day in prison for failing to surrender for service of her sentence.

According to court documents, Maria Santa was previously sentenced to 20 months in prison for mortgage fraud and was ordered to begin serving her sentence in February 2014. When her motion for bail pending appeal was denied, she fled the jurisdiction and left a note at her residence that made it appear that she had committed suicide.

On August 26, 2016, Maria Santa was arrested in Sacramento, California as a passenger in a vehicle her husband Virgil Santa was driving. She was found in possession of an identification document belonging to her twin sister.

Virgil Santa, 43, Sacramento, California is charged with harboring a fugitive in relation to Maria Santa’s offense. The charge is only an allegation, he is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.

U.S. Attorney McGregor W. Scott made the announcement. U.S. District Judge Kimberly J. Mueller ordered today’s sentence to be served consecutive to Santa’s original sentence.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Jared C. Dolan and Amanda Beck are prosecuting the case.

 

Arthur Change Menefee, 46, Stockton, California was sentenced today to three years in prison and ordered to pay over $5 million in restitution, for his participation in a large-scale mortgage fraud scheme.

According to court documents, Menefee was a licensed real estate agent who aided unqualified buyers in obtaining loans to purchase properties. Some of the properties were sold by co‑defendant Aleksandr Kovalev, who offered kickbacks to the buyers that were not disclosed to the lenders. Menefee assisted the buyers in preparing loan applications that included false information, and used fictitious companies he created to generate false information about the buyers’ employment and income to support the fraudulent loan applications. At least 23 properties were involved in Menefee’s mortgage fraud scheme, with substantial losses to the lenders.

To date, co-defendants Aleksandr Kovalev, Jannice Riddick, Florence Francisco, Adil Qayyum, Elsie Pamela Fuller, and Leona Yeargin have pleaded guilty and been sentenced. Two other defendants, Valeriy Vasilevitsky, charged in United States v. Vasilevitsky, 2:12-cr-344 KJM, and Ruth Willis, charged in United States v. Willis, 2:13-cr-00228 MCE, have also pleaded guilty and been sentenced with respect to their involvement in the scheme.

United States Attorney Phillip A. Talbert made the announcement.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorney Todd A. Pickles is prosecuting the case.