Archives For Appraiser

Tina Brown, 45, Bronx, New York, who was convicted of conspiracy to commit wire fraud affecting a financial institution, was sentenced today to six months home detention.

Between about June 2008 and February 2009, the defendant conspired with others to devise a scheme to commit mortgage fraud and obtain eight loans for unqualified borrowers for homes in the Bronx, New York. As part of the scheme, Brown used a relative to purchase a property located at 4087 Edson Avenue, Bronx, New York. The defendant falsely verified that the purchaser worked for her own company in order fraudulently to inflate the purchaser’s income so that she would qualify for a mortgage for that property. Brown knew that these false loan documents were submitted to The Funding Source, a mortgage bank, in order to secure a loan insured by the Federal Housing Administration. Based on that false application and supporting documentation, the loan was approved. The Funding Source sold the loan on the secondary market to M &T Bank, which wired funds from New York through the State of Ohio to purchase the loan.

The defendant and her co-conspirators arranged for additional fraudulent loans to be approved. These fraudulent transactions caused losses of approximately $244,000 to M&T Bank, Citibank, and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development.

Four co-defendants were previously convicted and sentenced: Gregory Gibbons, a mortgage broker, was sentenced to time served; Laurence Savedoff, an attorney, was sentenced to serve four months in prison; Julio Rodriguez, an appraiser, was sentenced to serve six months in prison; and Daniel Badu, a borrower, was sentenced to time served. Defendant Alagi Samba has been convicted and is awaiting sentencing.

The defendant was also ordered to pay restitution totaling $220,042.17 to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development and Citibank.

U.S. Attorney James P. Kennedy Jr. made the announcement.

The sentencing is the result of an investigation by the United States Postal Inspection Service, Boston Division, under the direction of Inspector-in-Charge Joseph W. Cronin, Boston Division, the Department of Housing and Urban Development, under the direction of Special Agent in Charge Brad Geary, and the Federal Bureau of Investigation, under the direction of Special Agent-in-Charge Gary Loeffert.

Eugene Peter Kenworthy, Jr., 50, appraiser, Ambler, Pennsylvania, was charged by Indictment with wire fraud, false statements for the purpose of influencing the Federal Housing Administration, aggravated identity theft, and failure to file a tax return.

The indictment alleges that, beginning as early as 1993, Kenworthy worked at Tech Review LTD, a real estate appraisal company owned by Kenworthy’s father.  Kenworthy began managing Tech Review after his father’s death in 2003 and sold the company in 2012 after which he formed two other companies, Global Appraisal Management and East Coast Appraisal Management.

According to the indictment, from March 2010 to February 2016, Kenworthy appraised approximately 714 properties which were the subject of HECM loan applications.  Kenworthy used the electronic signatures of five certified appraisers without their knowledge and consent to certify approximately 294 of those appraisals reports.  Those appraisers did not appraise the properties or write the reports.  Kenworthy used his own signature to certify the other approximately 420 appraisal reports he wrote. Most of the appraisals were for a single mortgage broker/origination company which paid Kenworthy about $450 per appraisal.

Also according to the indictment, Kenworthy made false statements in some of the HECM appraisal reports which resulted in falsely inflated valuations for the properties and, fraudulently inflated the HECM loan amounts. The indictment details several of these transactions.

As of July 2017, of the 714 properties for which Kenworthy wrote an appraisal report for a HECM, FHA had paid 53 claims totaling almost $3.7 million on foreclosed properties where the sales price of the home was insufficient to cover the HECM loan.

Kenworthy was added to the FHA appraiser roster in 1999 and, in or about January 2016, HUD suspended Kenworthy, barring him from performing FHA appraisals.

If convicted the defendant faces a maximum possible sentence is 166 years’ imprisonment, five years of supervised release, a $5,050,000 fine, and a $1,000 special assessment

The indictment was announced Acting United States Attorney Louis Lappen. The case was investigated by the United States Department of Housing and Urban Development – Office of Inspector General and the Internal Revenue Service – Criminal Investigation, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Karen L. Grigsby.

Matt Garner, appraiser, Lexington, Kentucky, was indicted and charged with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and false statement in a matter within the jurisdiction of an agency of the United States based on allegations that he used unlicensed surrogates to conduct residential real property appraisals under his name and license.

According to the indictment, in 2015, Garner began an illegal and deceptive practice of using uncertified and unlicensed surrogates, including two individuals identified in the indictment as GD and ZG, to perform appraisals and fill out Uniform Residential Appraisal Reports without attributing the reports to those individuals or identifying their involvement.  In most instances, Garner never visited the property.  He paid the surrogates a portion of his appraisal fee.

The indictment further alleges that Garner instructed his surrogates to pretend to be him if questioned by anyone during the appraisal process and he provided them with his own business cards to provide to others, if necessary.

By doing this, Garner was able to greatly increase the number of appraisals he could perform in a given time.

According to the indictment, Garner made the following material statements by signing and submitting the appraisal reports performed by surrogates:

  1.  That he had personally performed the appraisal;
  2. That he had not been assisted by any other person in performing the appraisal;
  3. That he was knowledgeable of and experienced in the market where the property was located.

*CORRECTION:  This article originally stated that Garner was charged with bank fraud.  He was actually charged with violation of 18 USC 371 – conspiracy and the underlying substantive offenses are identified as wire fraud in violation of 18 USC 1343 and false statements in a matter within the jurisdiction of an agency of the United States in violation of 18 USC 1001.

Louis Marandola, 41, attorney, Providence, Rhode Island; Brian R. McCaffrey, 38, licensed loan originator, East Greenwich, Rhode Island; Raffaele M. Marziale, 41, former loan officer, Bristol, Rhode Island; Lauren Sienko, 33, loan processor, Rehoboth, Massachusetts; Gina M. Ronci Mohamed, 45, licensed real estate agent, Lincoln, Rhode Island; and Edwin Rodriguez, 35,  real estate investor, Pawtucket, Rhode Island, were charged in a 22-count federal grand jury indictment unsealed in U.S. District Court in Providence, Rhode Island with allegedly participating in a conspiracy to obtain money they were not entitled to from financial institutions and individuals through mortgage loans, residential property sales and fees. Continue Reading…

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…

Mark E. Greenlee, 50, Charleston, North Carolina, a former West Virginia licensed real estate appraiser, was sentenced for preparing a false and fraudulent appraisal in 2006 in furtherance of a multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud scheme perpetrated by Deborah L. Joyce and others in the Stonegate subdivision in Hurricane, Putnam County, West Virginia.

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Joel Reck, 47, McKeesport, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Nora Barry Fischer for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme.

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James J. Goldberg, who did business as JJG Real Estate Appraisal Services (“Goldberg“), and Robert Micheline, who did business as P&M Appraisals (“Continue Reading...

Below are brief summaries of some of the significant mortgage fraud cases in California brought since June 18, 2010:

United States v. David Crisp, et al. The indictment alleges that, from approximately January 2004 to September 2007, the defendants operated real estate businesses in Kern County through which they submitted fraudulent loan applications

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Richard Lawrence Veazey, 53, Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania, pleaded guilty in federal court to a charge of wire fraud conspiracy in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.  The defendant pleaded guilty to one count before United States District Judge Donetta W. Ambrose.

In connection with the guilty plea, the court was advised that Veazey, who was an appraiser,

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