Archives For Reverse Mortgage

Tommy Rudy Habibe-Arias was charged in a one count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in the District of Puerto Rico, with making false statements in an application for a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loan (commonly known as a “Reverse Mortgage”).

According to the indictment, from on or about September 2009 until on or about November 2009, defendant Tommy Rudy Habibe-Arias knowingly made or caused to be made material false statements to a mortgage lending institution named Master Mortgage Corporation, for the purpose of influencing the Federal Housing Administration (FHA) to insure a Reverse Mortgage loan. Specifically, the false and fraudulent information indicated that said property was the defendant’s principal residence, when at no time since September of 2009, or at any other time, the defendant occupied the property as his “primary residence.” The defendant procured $203,605.55 from a Home Equity Conversion Mortgage loan, which he received illegally.

If convicted, the defendant faces a possible penalty of 30 years in prison and/or a fine of $1,000,000.

Mortgage fraud is a serious issue that affects not just financial institutions but ordinary citizens who may have invested in such financial institutions or who hope to purchase, sell or refinance a home by honestly setting forth their finances,” said Rosa Emilia Rodríguez-Vélez, U.S. Attorney for the District of Puerto Rico, in announcing the indictment. “Mortgage lenders provide capital so people can purchase homes, not enrich themselves illegally.”

The U.S. Department Housing & Urban Development- Office of Inspector General (HUD-OIG) is conducting the investigation.

The FHA reverse mortgage program enables elderly people to withdraw some of their home’s equity to give them greater financial security and allow them to afford to stay in their home,” said Nadine Gurley, HUD-OIG’s Special Agent-in-Charge for the Atlanta Region. “However, the public needs to be aware that to be eligible for these reverse loans, homeowners must be at least 62 years of age or older; own the property outright or have paid down a considerable amount; and must occupy the property as a principal residence. Our agency encourages anyone with information about waste, fraud or abuse against this program to confidentially report it by calling our San Juan Field Office at (787) 766-5868 or via e-mail at HOTLINE@HUDOIG.GOV (link sends e-mail)

The case is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Scott H. Anderson.

A Norwell, Massachusetts based mortgage broker, one of its loan originators, and an outside insurance agent have been sued by the Massachusetts Attorney General for sales tactics that convinced elderly homeowners to apply for reverse mortgages and invest their proceeds in risky financial products, including variable annuities

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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.”

Edmund Chatham, Roswell, Georgia, and Steven Connelly, Alpharetta, Georgia, have been indicted by a Fulton County Grand Jury and charged with one count of Racketeering (O.C.G.A. §16-14-4(a)) for their role in a scheme using senior citizens to fraudulently obtain payouts from mortgage lenders for reverse mortgages.

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Yesenia Pouparina, aka Yesenia Campos, 42, Miami, Florida, a title agent and former mortgage broker, was sentenced for her role in a reverse mortgage loan fraud scheme.

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Marcos Echevarria, Louis Gendason, John Incandela and Kimberly Mackey, three South Florida mortgage loan officers and a Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, title agent have been permanently disbarred following their criminal convictions on charges they defrauded elderly borrowers, mortgage lenders and the FHA.

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Kelsey Torrey Hull, Jonathan Alred Kimpson, James Michael Green, Herbert Bush, Wilbur “Sonny” Letak, Kevin Claude Barnett, were each sentenced to prison for multiple charges relating to a reverse mortgage scheme targeting the elderly.

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John Incandela, 25, Palm Beach, Florida, a loan officer was sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas in Ft. Lauderdale, Fla., for his participation in a nationwide $2.5 million reverse mortgage fraud scheme. 

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Gia Joy Glasse-Harris, 27, Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced to prison by United States District Judge Amy Totenberg on charges of conspiring to commit mortgage fraud.

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Kimberly Mackey, 46, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, and Marcos Echevarria, 29, Palm Beach, Florida, were sentenced before U.S. District Court Judge William P. Dimitrouleas for their participation in a $2.5 million Home Equity Conversion Mortgage fraud scheme.

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