2:54PM

ID Theft Repair Kit

This site contains 119 articles regarding mortgage related ID Thefts, including one just below this entry. From experience we know that this is just the tip of an iceberg. Therefore I thought we should publicise the recent ID Theft Repair Kit that was released by the New Mexico Attorney General, Patricia Madrid

The kit is execellent and I will leave you to read it without further comment. Click here for ID Theft Repair Kit. Please be patient as this is a 4mb file.

Also don’t forget the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) website which is also an excellent resourse for victims and lenders.

2:21PM

Man indicted in alleged mortgage investment fraud

In the following press release Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro announced that a Franklin County Grand Jury has indicted a local businessman for passing bad checks and defrauding three investors out of thousands of dollars, Attorney General Jim Petro and the Columbus Mortgage Fraud Task Force announced. Larry Corna, 50, was indicted on 10 fifth-degree felony counts (including charges of theft, forgery and passing bad checks) and one fourth-degree felony count of theft.

larry corna.jpg“Mr. Corna made false promises and told outright lies to profit from this investment scheme,” Petro said. “Furthermore, Mr. Corna is not even licensed with the Ohio Department of Commerce as a broker or a loan officer.”

Petro and task force investigators said Corna, of 1940 Scioto Point Drive in Columbus, convinced individuals to assist buyers in providing down payments for “rehab properties” in Franklin County. Corna explained to investors that their payments would yield substantial returns when the deals closed. However, Corna was not involved in rehabilitating any of the properties. In two of the cases, he simply cashed the investors’ checks ($2,500 and $3,000) and kept the money. In the third case, the victim’s $11,000 investment was used to purchase a property, for which Corna received a $9,200 commission.

The Upper Arlington Police Department (UAPD), which led this investigation, said Corna operates a business at 5300 McKitrick Blvd. in Columbus called Sunrise Mortgage. Corna also has used the names Mortgage Services of Ohio and Merchants Financial.

“In every case, Mr. Corna promised huge returns on short-term investments, but never delivered,” said UAPD Lt. Greg Patrick. “We urge anyone who has had similar dealings with Mr. Corna to contact us with their stories.”

If you have any information about Corna, contact UAPD Det. Jeff Conrad at (614) 583-5164. The Columbus Mortgage Fraud Task Force is comprised of Petro’s Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission, UAPD, the Columbus Division of Police Economic Crime Unit, U.S. Postal Inspection Service, U.S. Secret Service, Office of Inspector General for Housing and Urban Development, Ohio Department of Insurance and Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.

12:09PM

Mortgage Lenders licence suspended - doubt over HUD-1's

In the following press release the Mississippi DBCF announced that on June 20, 2006, Mid-South Mortgage & Investments, Inc. d/b/a Freedom Lending of Meridian, Mississippi and Commissioner Allison with the Mississippi Department of Banking and Consumer Finance, with regard to alleged violations of the Mississippi Mortgage Consumer Protection Law, signed a Consent Order resolving the matter. In accordance with the terms of the Consent Order, the mortgage company license of Mid-South Mortgage & Investments, Inc. d/b/a Freedom Lending was suspended for a term of three (3) years effective immediately and a civil money penalty in the amount of Ten Thousand Dollars ($10,000.00) was assessed. Further information may be obtained on the Department’s website www.dbcf.state.ms.us.

According to the Order the finding was based upon the facts and information received by Director Traci McCain and information obtained by Examiners Kris Booker & Larry Carter that indicates that the Licensee executed two (2) conflicting and different HUD Settlement Statements on mortgage loan transactions, which is in violation of Section 81-18-27(1)(b),(f) and (g) (of the Mississippi Code

10:34AM

Two charged in mortgage related ID Theft allegations

In the following press release, Ohio Attorney General Jim Petro announced that the Columbus Division of Police (CPD) have arrested two men as part of an ongoing mortgage-fraud investigation by an Ohio Organized Crime Investigations Commission (OOCIC) task force, Attorney General Jim Petro announced.

Entour Ferguson, 58, of 1723 Richmond Ave. in Columbus, and Steve “Cowboy” McClure, 41, of 973 E. Rich St. in Columbus, were both arrested shortly after they closed on a bogus mortgage deal at a north Columbus title agency. Investigators say the two men used the identity of an unsuspecting Columbus man to obtain a $205,000 loan on a Columbus property.

“This is one of the most egregious examples of identity theft,” Petro said. “The perpetrator steals someone’s identity, enters into a deal in that unsuspecting person’s name and leaves the victim with a mortgage of which they are totally unaware. This obviously could have a profound impact on the victim’s financial health.”

Both Ferguson and McClure have been charged with identity fraud, a third-degree felony; possession of criminal tools, a fifth-degree felony; and forgery, a third-degree felony. McClure is currently on parole for a federal counterfeiting conviction. More charges may be forthcoming in this case as the task force continues its investigation.

“The Columbus Division of Police is pleased to assist in these arrests,” Deputy Chief Gary Thatcher said. “The involvement of the Economic Crime Unit in this task force is a benefit to our community as well as the Division of Police.”

Investigators believe that McClure may have been involved in other deals. Individuals should contact CPD at (614) 645-4910 if they have any additional information.

entour ferguson.jpg   steve mcclure.jpg
         Ferguson                            McClure

CPD is the lead agency in the Columbus Mortgage Fraud Task Force, which was formed earlier this year to combat mortgage fraud in the central Ohio area. Other task force members include Petro’s office, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, the U.S. Secret Service, the Office of Inspector General for Housing and Urban Development, the Ohio Department of Insurance, the Upper Arlington Police Department and the Franklin County Prosecutor’s Office.

5:15PM

Daily Updates - June 21, 2006

4:24PM

Woman sentenced for taking downpayments for home she did not own

Westchester County District Attorney Janet DiFiore announced that Catherine Martino (DOB12/07/64) of 1940 Deer Park Avenue, Deer Park, New York, was sentenced today to 21/2 to 5 years in state prison on two counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree. Additionally, as a condition of her sentence, judgment orders were issued for the full amount of the thefts.

catherine20martino.jpg

Over a two month period from December 10, 2004 to February 3, 2005, the defendant defrauded three potential purchasers of a total of $52,250 by falsely representing herself to be the owner and seller of a property located at 339 South Fifth Avenue in Mount Vernon, New York.

On December 10, 2004, she received a down payment check in the amount of $11,750.00 from one prospective purchaser. On January 26, 2005, she received a down payment of $18,000 from another interested party for the sale of the same house. Martino defrauded a third unsuspecting victim on February 3, 2005, by taking a $22,500 check as a down payment.

District Attorney DiFiore said, “This defendant repeatedly misrepresented herself as the owner of a house defrauding a number of unsuspecting buyers. Although her greed will be rewarded with a term in state prison, her actions should alert prospective purchasers of property to the pitfalls of not carefully and methodically vetting the seller before handing over any money.”

Assistant District Attorney Gwendolyn Galef of the Economic Crimes Bureau prosecuted the case. Click here for the complete press release

4:16PM

Collections manager sentenced, stole $249,000

In the following press release United States Attorney Carol C. Lam announced that Maria De Lourdes Navarro was sentenced today in U.S. District Court in San Diego by the Honorable Marilyn L. Huff to serve 30 months in federal custody, based on Navarro’s conviction for bank fraud.

According to court papers, from December 1998 to January 2003, Navarro was a Collections Operation Manager in the San Diego office of GreenPoint Credit Corporation (“GreenPoint”), an operating subsidiary of GreenPoint Bank, a federally-insured savings bank. Navarro’s duties at GreenPoint included responsibility for collecting deficiencies on foreclosed mobile home mortgages. As part of her guilty plea last year, Navarro admitted that, during the fall of 2001, she began illegally diverting to her personal use money that she was collecting on GreenPoint’s behalf. She accomplished this diversion by virtue of her ability to negotiate settlements of outstanding mortgage balances with GreenPoint’s customers and her ability to manipulate GreenPoint’s books.

Specifically, Navarro admitted that she falsely represented to GreenPoint customers that their mortgage obligations could be satisfied by a drastically reduced lump sum payment. She directed the payments to a collection agency, which then converted part of the payments to cashier’s checks payable to Navarro or her creditors. Navarro admitted that she then covered up this fraud in GreenPoint’s books by falsely representing that certain outstanding balances had been paid or that certain accounts were in litigation (or were being monitored by the legal department) and that no contact should be made with the account holders. Navarro admitted that, through this scheme, she defrauded GreenPoint of approximately $249,000.

In addition to the 30-month sentence, Judge Huff ordered that Navarro serve a five-year term of supervised release following prison. Judge Huff also ordered that Navarro pay $249,000 in restitution to GreenPoint. Judge Huff ordered Navarro to surrender to federal custody on or before July 14, 2006.

United States Attorney Lam stated, “Navarro used her position of trust to take advantage of her employer and her customers. Her lengthy prison sentence is well-earned and well-deserved.”

2:39PM

Two convicted in real estate fraud, nearly $500,000 in fines

In the following press release it was announced that The Los Angeles County General Fund has been paid more than $499,000 in fines from a real estate fraud prosecution against a mother-daughter-son team working in the San Fernando and Santa Clarita valleys, the Los Angeles District Attorney’s Real Estate Fraud Unit announced today.

The fine, which was paid yesterday as part of the case disposition, came after the defendants pleaded no contest in San Fernando Superior Court. As part of their fines, the defendants also paid $46,056.60 to the Sheriff’s Department and $12,061.03 to the District Attorney’s Office to cover costs of investigation and prosecution of the case.

The defendants pleaded in April and were sentenced. The mother was sentenced to a four-year state prison term. Her son and daughter were placed on supervised probation and given credit for time already served in the county jail. During their 2-1/2-years on probation, the defendants cannot work in the real estate business.

Deputy District Attorney David Fleck of the Real Estate Fraud Unit said Joyce Vachon, 66, worked as a real estate loan processor for several real estate brokers in the area. Her daughter, Jeanne Vachon, 44, was an underwriter for a real estate lending firm, while the son, Henry, 43, invested and resold real estate.

Fleck said the defendants profited from the rising real estate market illegally by using “straw buyers” to purchase property, then “flipping” the homes to make a profit. Straw buyers are people with good credit whose names are used - sometimes without the person’s knowledge - to buy property. Flipping, which is the resale of the property to make a profit in a rising real estate market, is not illegal unless fraud is involved, the prosecutor added.

A fourth defendant in the case, a “straw buyer” used by the defendants to acquire property, pleaded to misdemeanor charges and was placed on summary probation after a 180-day jail term.

When Fleck filed the case earlier this year, he alleged that it was an aggravated white collar crime. If the aggravated white collar crime is found to be true, the law mandates that fines generated from certain fraud cases be paid directly to the county, the prosecuting agency and the investigating agency.

Fleck said when the defendants pleaded no contest, they also admitted they committed a fraud and a pattern of related felony conduct to take more than $500,000. This brought into play the aggravated white collar crime enhancement.

The prosecutor said Joyce Vachon pleaded no contest to grand theft and forgery charges. Her son and daughter pleaded no contest to grand theft and money laundering charges.