12:07PM

Two women sentenced in $7.5 million Maryland mortgage fraud case

In the following press release from the FBI it was announced that Orpel Tucker, 44, of Washington, D.C., and Tania Firmani, 46, of Brooms Island, Maryland, have been sentenced to prison terms for their roles in a mortgage fraud scheme that cost mortgage lenders more than $1.3 million.

Tucker was sentenced on May 16, 2013, to a 37-month prison term, and Firmani was sentenced today to 15 months of incarceration. Both appeared before the Honorable Reggie B. Walton in the U.S. District Court for the District of Columbia.

The sentences were announced by U.S. Attorney Ronald C. Machen, Jr.; Gary R. Barksdale, Inspector in Charge, Washington Division, U.S. Postal Inspection Service; Joseph W. Clarke, Special Agent in Charge of the Office of Inspector General of the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development; Valerie Parlave, Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI’s Washington Field Office; and William P. White, Commissioner of the District of Columbia Department of Insurance, Securities and Banking.

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11:29AM

Two former Maui residents indicted in investment scheme

In the following press release the FBI in Honolulu announced that a federal grand jury in Honolulu, Hawaii today returned a 17-count indictment of George Lindell, age 65, and Holly Hoaeae, age 39, for operating an alleged pyramid, or Ponzi, scheme between January 2005 and November 2010. The indictment charges Lindell and Hoaeae, who were Maui residents at the time of the alleged offenses, with 13 mail fraud and three wire fraud violations and one count of money laundering conspiracy, each of which carry a maximum sentence of 20 years’ imprisonment. The indictment also seeks a forfeiture of various properties and assets, including up to $8,626,588.86, which the indictment alleges represents the total amount of proceeds obtained as a result of the fraud. In addition, the defendants face fines of up to $250,000 on each of the fraud violations and up to $500,000 or twice the value of the funds or financial instruments involved on the conspiracy charge.

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11:17AM

Three Ohio men sentenced in foreclosure rescue scam

Adam P. Moellers, 35, of Mason, Ohio, was sentenced to 36 months in prison, and Gary P. Dailey, aka Gary Klump, 33, of Covington, Kentucky, was sentenced to 21 months in prison in U.S. District Court today for engaging in a foreclosure rescue scheme through a company called American Equity Group (AEG). A third defendant, Perry Bensick, 37, of Monroe, Ohio, was sentenced on May 21 for his role in the scheme to a year and a day in prison. Each will be placed under court supervision for three years after their prison terms end.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine and Kevin Cornelius; Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation, Cincinnati Field Division (FBI), announced the sentences imposed by U.S. District Judge Michael Barrett.

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11:13AM

Key West woman pleads guilty to obstruction of justice in mortgage fraud case

United States Attorney Robert E. O’Neill announces that Karen Galo (33, Key West) pleaded guilty yesterday to unlawfully disclosing a federal grand jury subpoena to a third party with the intent to obstruct a judicial proceeding.  Galo faces a maximum penalty of 5 years in federal prison.

According to the plea agreement, on October 9, 2008, Galo, in her capacity as an officer of Key West Bank, received two federal grand jury subpoenas related to an investigation into mortgage fraud and money laundering.  Galo knew the subject of the grand jury subpoenas.  After receiving the grand jury subpoenas at the bank, Galo contacted the subject and sent him the subpoenas by fax.  Galo disclosed the subpoenas to the subject with the intent to obstruct the investigation being conducted in Tampa.  Included with the grand jury subpoenas served on the bank was a warning letter notifying Galo that it is a federal crime to disclose a federal grand jury subpoena received by a financial institution.  Galo included the letter in the fax sent to the subject, along with the two subpoenas.  Two days after the subject received the grand jury subpoenas, he fled the United States.

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9:40AM

Two employees of Indiana Land Bank arrested on bribery and fraud charges

United States Attorney Joseph H. Hogsett announced this afternoon the arrest and charging of five defendants who are alleged to have participated in a scheme to abuse the Indianapolis Land Bank program for their own benefit. The indictment alleges that the two City of Indianapolis employees and three co-conspirators engaged in wire fraud and bribery in order to facilitate a number of fraudulent land purchases.

“These charges involve a conspiracy to defraud the taxpayers of Indianapolis and abuse a local housing program designed to help rebuild this city’s most troubled neighborhoods,” Hogsett said. “For those in positions of public trust, both here in Indianapolis and across the state, I hope these developments have confirmed the message: the era of corruption is over.”

“The FBI criminal program’s top priority is public corruption,” said FBI Special Agent in Charge Robert Jones. “The integrity of our public officials is the cornerstone of fair governance.”

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10:36AM

San Francisco realtor accused by Dept of Real Estate in investment fraud allegations

NBC Bay Area TV Investigation Unit said today [PDF] [Link] that a prominent San Francisco real estate broker could lose his license after the NBC Bay Area Investigative Unit uncovered what his investors call a decade of deception.   The broker attracted more than a dozen investors to false promises of profit from prime real estate in a historic San Francisco neighborhood. 

The allegations involve millions of dollars and on May 3, 2013 the California Dept of Real Estate filed an Accusation against WB Coyle and his companies Telegraph Hill Properties, Inc and THP-SF, Inc. Below is the Video news report from NBC Bay Area which has more detail.

9:45AM

Prattville (AL) title company owner arrested on four charges of residential mortgage fraud

Alabama Attorney General Luther Strange announced the arrest yesterday of a Prattville woman for four counts of residential mortgage fraud, two counts of first-degree theft and two counts of first degree theft by deception. Lynda Branch, 59, formerly operated Professional Closing and Title LLC, doing business in Prattville as Pro Close. Branch was arrested by the Autauga County Sheriff’s Office.

My thanks to Don Fletcher and the Montgomery Advertiser for the photograph.

Attorney General Strange’s Office presented evidence to an Autauga County grand jury on May 8, resulting in Branch’s indictment on May 10. Specifically, the indictment charges: One count of residential mortgage fraud in that Branch, knowingly and with intent to defraud made a material deliberate misrepresentation, by certifying in a HUD-1 Settlement Statement that Professional Closing and Title would disburse $140,325 to GMAC to pay off first and second mortgages on behalf of a consumer

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9:20AM

Disbarred Nassau County (NY) attorney indicted on $4 million real estate fraud charges

In the following press release Nassau County District Attorney Kathleen Rice announced today that a disbarred attorney has been indicted on multiple felonies for stealing more than $4 million from multiple individuals and banks he was representing in real estate deals, including his own wife.

James Kalpakis, 52, of Old Westbury, was arraigned this morning on a grand jury indictment charging him with two counts of Grand Larceny in the First Degree, five counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, four counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, 10 counts of Criminal Possession of a Forged Instrument in the Second Degree and two counts of Offering a False Instrument for Filing in the First Degree.

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