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Brett Depue, 42, Gilbert, Arizona, was convicted following a four-day jury trial, and 1½ days of deliberations, of one count of conspiracy to commit mail, bank and wire fraud, and seven counts wire fraud in connection with a Las Vegas mortgage fraud scheme.  Depue was remanded to custody and sentencing is scheduled for November 9 at 9:00 a.m. Depue‘s previous conviction on mortgage fraud charges was overturned by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals.

We are pleased that a second jury determined that Mr. Depue had committed fraud,” said U.S. Attorney Daniel G. Bogden.  “There were over 100 homes used as part of this conspiracy to defraud the financial institutions of millions.” Continue Reading…

Fryar trial witness: Ex-Eagle’s mother unaware of alleged scam

The mortgage fraud trial of a former Eagles player and his 74-year-old mother took an unexpected turn in a Mount Holly courtroom Thursday when the key prosecution witness admitted during cross-examination that he told a prosecutor that he did not believe the woman was aware she was participating in an illegal scheme.

William Barksdale, a mortgage broker already serving a sentence for conspiracy to commit wire fraud, was testifying at the trial of Irving Fryar and Allene McGhee. The state Attorney General’s Office contends they were coconspirators with Barksdale in defrauded seven lending institutions in South Jersey and Philadelphia of more than $1.2 million in 2009.

Ex-real estate agent once again defending himself at trial

For the third time in three years, a former real estate agent is defending himself at trial in a mortgage fraud scheme federal prosecutors allege defrauded lending institutions out of more than $24 million.

Brett Depue’s first trial ended in a hung jury in February 2012, but he was convicted the following month on conspiracy and fraud charges and later sentenced to nearly 22 years in federal prison.

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.

If you are involved in fraud detection and prevention in the mortgage industry or have attended an event where I have spoken over the past few years, you are no doubt aware that the Sovereign Citizen movement has been targeting the mortgage industry.  The one most prominent in my mind is, of course, the Dorean Group.  Its ringleaders, Scott Heineman and Kurt Johnson were a were a frequent topic on the blog during 2005 and through their trial, sentencings and appeals.  Although Sovereign Citizens at times become engaged in mortgage fraud because of certain beliefs concerning the history of our currency and a misreading of the law, their impact and involvement in the mortgage industry is tangential to their ideology – which is grounded in conspiracy theory.  In 2013, I wrote an article entitled Fraud From the Fringe – the Sovereign Citizen Movement and the Rise of Mortgage Elimination Schemes, published in Mortgage Banking Magazine, that provides more explanation.  The Southern Poverty Law Center and the Anti-Defamation League also have resources on Sovereign Citizen ideology.

I am always interested in news on Sovereign Citizen activity and prosecutions – even when not related to mortgage.  Some of the conduct they engage in can be incredibly harassing to the people they target – be it a private citizen or a government figure.  The everyday engagements that give rise to retaliation can be very minor in the eyes of the non-Sovereign Citizen and yet the backlash can be astounding – the worst, of course, being examples of public safety officers gunned down during traffic stops.  But, ordinary, every day social or business interactions can also result in economic threats or the filing and recording of legal documents that can be difficult to appropriately address. Continue Reading…