Donna Larson, 52, Marshfield, Massachusetts has been indicted in connection with allegedly trying to delay or avoid foreclosure of a home mortgage by falsely reporting the death of a child to her mortgage company, and thereafter knowingly falsifying information in an affidavit filed in Brockton, Massachusetts Superior Court.
In September 2008, the Attorney General’s Office began an investigation after Larson’s activities were referred by Plymouth Superior Court in Massachusetts. Authorities allege that on numerous occasions between June 2007 and September 2008, Larson repeatedly lied to her mortgage company and in court documents submitted to the Southeast Housing Court and Plymouth Superior Court in order to delay or avoid mortgage payment obligations and eviction from her West Bridgewater, Massachusetts residence.
Larson stopped making payments on her mortgage in November, 2006. In June and August 2007, she falsely reported to her mortgage company that a son in the military had died and that she was awaiting payment of a life insurance policy that she intended to use to pay off her loan. Based on this misrepresentation, the mortgage company granted multiple extensions on mortgage payments before ultimately foreclosing on the loan in September 2007.
Following the foreclosure, Larson failed to vacate the premises, and eviction proceedings were commenced. In January and February 2008, under the assumed identity of a fictional clerk of an attorney known to her but not actually representing her, Larson sent the Southeast Housing Court two faxes requesting the postponement of an eviction hearing. The faxes falsely claimed that a relative of the attorney had died, and the attorney would be unavailable for the scheduled court dates. The court granted Larson two extensions based upon the false representations in the faxes.
In May 2008, a person claiming to be a relative of Larson’s called the mortgage lender’s attorney and falsely reported that Larson had died, again requesting additional time to vacate the residence. Believing that Larson was indeed deceased, the lender’s attorney granted the defendant’s family additional extensions on the eviction.
The mortgage lender’s lawyer learned that Larson was not dead when, on May 28, 2008, Larson sought to delay the eviction by requesting the issuance of a temporary restraining order from the Plymouth Superior Court. Included with her request was a fabricated email from the mortgage company falsely confirming that the foreclosure of her mortgage had occurred in error. Larson affirmed the authenticity of the email in an affidavit signed under the penalties of perjury. The court granted the temporary restraining order. When later confronted with evidence that the email was fabricated and fictional in content, Larson submitted a second affidavit, also signed under the penalties of perjury, in which she reaffirmed the contents of the prior affidavit and her representations to the court.
Attorney General Martha Coakley made the announcement.
A Plymouth County Grand Jury returned indictments against Larson and she is scheduled to be arraigned in Plymouth Superior Court on July 12, 2010.
The case is being prosecuted by Assistant Attorney General Roberta Horton, of Attorney General Coakley’s Corruption and Fraud Division, and was investigated by financial investigator Davin Lee of the Corruption and Fraud Division and Massachusetts State Police assigned to the Attorney General’s Office.