4:08PM

Man arrested in $1.1 million mortgage fraud

In the following press release R. Alexander Acosta, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Florida and Jonathan I. Solomon, Special Agent in Charge for the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced today the arrest of Ernest Earl Erbe, Jr., a/k/a Richard Allen Dixon for bank fraud. Erbe had his initial appearance on June 1, 2006, before United States Magistrate Judge Ann E. Vitunac in Fort Pierce. Erbe remains in custody at this time. Erbe’s next court appearance is a pretrial detention hearing on June 7, 2006, before United States Magistrate Judge James Hopkins in Fort Pierce, Florida.

A criminal complaint signed on June 1, 2006, charges that Erbe, using the name Richard Allen Dixon, made false statements to obtain loans totaling $1.1 million to purchase a residence at 5810 Center Street, Jupiter, Florida. The complaint alleges that the loan applications contained a false name and Social Security Number. It further alleges that Erbe falsely claimed that he did not owe any child support and that he was not the subject of any pending lawsuits. It also asserts that “Dixon” signed a sworn statement to the lender falsely stating that he had never used any other name, when, in fact, his birth name was Ernest Earl Erbe, Jr. Erbe was arrested as he departed for the Bahamas on his personal boat.

If convicted, he faces up to thirty (30) years imprisonment, a $1,000,000 fine, and forfeiture of the residence at 5810 Center Street. Mr. Acosta commended the joint investigative efforts of the FBI, Palm Beach County Sheriff’s Office, and the Jupiter Police Department. This matter is being handled by Assistant United States Attorney Bruce E. Reinhart. A copy of this press release may be found on the website of the United States Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida at www.usdoj.gov/usao/fls. Related court documents and information may be found on the website of the District Court for the Southern District of Florida at www.flsd.uscourts.gov or on http://pacer.flsd.uscourts.gov.

2:43PM

Man indicted, obtained mortgage on property he did not own

In the following press release United States Attorney Rodger A. Heaton, Central District of Illinois, announced the indictment today of a Charleston, Illinois realtor. A federal grand jury returned the indictment charging Robert “Bear” Taylor, age 46, with two counts of wire fraud.

The indictment alleges that Taylor used interstate wires to defraud a former client of more than $500,000. More specifically, the indictment alleges that in October, 2003 Taylor improperly used over $170,000 of the proceeds of a residential home sale that belonged to the seller for Taylor’s purposes. The indictment also alleges that, in January of 2005, Taylor fraudulently obtained a $330,000 loan from the same client via an overseas wire transfer by promising to record a mortgage on certain property. In fact, the indictment alleges Taylor did not own the property and could not mortgage it. The indictment also alleges that Taylor attempted to avoid detection of his scheme by falsely telling his client via an international e-mail that he had invested the proceeds of the sale of the client’s home in other real estate, when, in fact, he had spent the money on himself.

Taylor will be issued a summons to appear in federal court in Urbana for arraignment at a later date. If convicted, each count carries a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years iprisonment and a fine of $250,000. The charges are the result of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation. Individuals with questions or information concerning the case may contact Special Agent David Young at (217) 352-0411.

The case is being prosecuted by Eugene L. Miller, Assistant U.S. Attorney, of the Urbana division. Members of the public are reminded than an indictment is merely an accusation; the defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty.

1:41PM

Daily Updates - June 23, 2006

10:06AM

Three charged in mortgage fraud

David Kustoff, United States Attorney for the Western District of Tennessee, announced that KRIS A. PERKINS and KRISTEN N. BRAXTON, of Eads, Tennessee, and LARRY VERNELL BULLOCK of Memphis, Tennessee were charged in a three count indictment for conspiring to create and submit false financial records in order to obtain a mortgage on 8854 River Meadows Drive, Cordova, Tennessee; in violation of Title 18, United States Code § 371 (conspiracy), § 1341 (commercial carrier/mail fraud), and § 1343 (wire fraud).

As described in the indictment, in 2001 the Defendants conspired to create and submit false and fraudulent financial documents to brokers/underwriters and mortgage companies so PERKINS and BRAXTON could qualify for a home valued at approximately $300,000.00 at 8854 River Meadow Drive in Cordova, Tennessee.

The indictment charges that PERKINS was an employee of ElderCare Home Health Services, Inc. (ElderCare) located at 3318 Millbranch Road, Memphis, Tennessee and was paid approximately $17,426.47 in 1998; $22,286.39 in 1999; $22,790.29 in 2000, and $25,154.45 in 2001. According to the indictment, BULLOCK owned and operated an accounting firm in Memphis, Tennessee and was the accountant for ElderCare, and had access to the company’s financial books and records.

The indictment also charges that on or about May 1, 2001, PERKINS submitted false W-2 forms for 1998, 1999, and 2000 to be included in a loan package for a mortgage. The indictment further charges PERKINS also submitted a “Request for Verification of Employment,” prepared/caused to be prepared by BULLOCK, falsely representing that ElderCare Home Health Services paid PERKINS $51,600.00 in 2000.

As noted in the indictment, BRAXTON certified on a “Uniform Residential Loan Application” submitted to Associates Home Equity Loan Corporation that the information in the application was “true and correct,” when BRAXTON knew the W-2 showing she earned $53,058.70 in wages from Gold Strike Casino was false because she was not employed there.

The indictment alleges that in 2002, PERKINS submitted another set of loan documents related to the River Meadow address. Beginning in October 30, 2002, and continuing through November 5, 2002, PERKINS left phone messages for BULLOCK about Perkins’ financial records. The indictment charges that on or about November 5, 2002, BULLOCK faxed a false and fraudulent ElderCare pay stub dated October 30, 2002, falsely showing that PERKINS was paid a gross salary of $2,833.33 for that pay period. The indictment further alleges that a false document, “Request for Verification of Employment,” falsely representing that ElderCare Home Health Services paid PERKINS $64,377.00 in 2001 was submitted for the 2002 mortgage.

The indictment further charges that submission of the false and fraudulent financial information caused CitiFinancial in Irving, Texas to wire a check in the amount of $6,334.40 into the account of the closing agent, Assured Equity and Title, at Banc Corp South in Memphis, Tennessee and that the loan documents were sent via FedEx to CitiFinancial.

The mail fraud charges carry a penalty of not more than 20 years, $250,000, with three years supervised release and a fine of $100. The wire fraud and conspiracy charges carry a penalty of not more than five (5) years, $250,000.00, with three years supervised release and a fine of $100 per count.

This indictment is a result of an investigation by the Special Agents of the Department of Health and Human Services - Office of the Inspector General and Postal Inspectors with the United States Postal Inspection Service. Assistant United States Attorney Cam Towers Jones is handling the case for the United States.


4:22PM

Man pleads guilty, created real estate company to steal ID's

In the following press release the US DOJ in Los Angeles, CA announced that the third member of an identity theft ring that used personal information fraudulently obtained from Experian and other companies to apply for fraudulent loans pleaded guilty this morning to federal identity theft charges.

Eric Bronche Thomas, 42, of Gardena, appeared before United States District Judge Christina A. Snyder and pleaded guilty to three felony counts – computer intrusion, use of a false identity document and misuse of a social security number.

Two other members of the identity theft ring – Calvin Son Guidry, 32, of Inglewood, and John Wayne Avery, 52, of Los Angeles – pleaded guilty earlier this year to conspiracy to commit identity theft. Guidry additionally pleaded guilty to the use of a false identity document.

When entering their guilty pleas, Thomas, Guidry, and Avery admitted working together to obtain personal data – including names, dates of birth and social security numbers – and to use that data to fraudulently apply for loans. Thomas admitted to establishing a real estate company and using that company to obtain access to Experian credit reports, from which he harvested personal information from unsuspecting victims. With the personal information, Thomas and Guidry applied for loans from various lending institutions and created counterfeit identity documents. Avery and other members of the ring would then use the identification documents to claim the loan checks.

In addition to the loan fraud scheme, Thomas also admitted to applying for a Best Buy credit card using a false social security number after the loan fraud case had been filed. Thomas has agreed to forfeit several residences that he had purchased using stolen identities.

The government estimates that the actual loss associated with the identity fraud tied to Thomas, Guidry and Avery is more than $300,000. At least 30 people were victimized.

Sentencing for Thomas is set for August 28, at which time he faces a maximum possible sentence of 35 years in federal prison. Guidry is scheduled to be sentenced on October 16 and faces a maximum possible sentence of 20 years in federal prison. Avery is scheduled to be sentenced on November 27 and faces a maximum sentence of five years in federal prison. This case was investigated by the Los Angeles Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

4:16PM

Daily Updates - June 22, 2006

The following stories were updated today:

Lawyer expected to plead guilty to misuse of clients funds 

3:51PM

Tax prepared pleads guilty to supplying false returns to support applications

Elleanor Spann of Columbus, SC pleaded guilty yesterday to preparing false tax returns for co-conspirators in a mortgage fraud. The false returns were provided in 2000 and 2001 to Branch Bank and Trust Company to support income for mortgage applications. Spann is the owner and operator of Nora’s Tax Service.

Click here to read the indictment. No other details are known at this time.

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.