In a press release Gregory A. White, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio, announced that a grand jury sitting in Cleveland, Ohio, returned an eleven-count superseding indictment against Darryl G. Moore, Leon S. Heard and Steven I. Helfgott, charging them with one count of conspiracy to commit mail fraud, wire fraud, and securities fraud; one count of securities fraud; one count of wire fraud; one count of money laundering; and one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering resulting from defrauding investors in an extensive “Ponzi” scheme. Moore and Heard, along with Mark C. Olds, Robert E. McNair, Avis D. Scott, Lee A. Granger, and Craig M. Duncan were also charged with a conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud, wire fraud, and interstate transportation of stolen property (ITSP) in connection with a scheme to defraud mortgage companies. Heard is also charged with bank fraud in connection with his false application and statements in obtaining his residence in Richmond Heights, Ohio.
Moore, age 41, lives at 6990 Woodlands Lane, Solon, Ohio; Heard, age 72, resides at 5214 Dickens Drive, Cleveland, Ohio; Helfgott, age 54, resides at 2982 Croydon Road, Cleveland, Ohio; Duncan, age 58, resides at 1907 Knowles Ave., East Cleveland, Ohio; Scott, 48, resides at 21507 Halworth, Beachwood, Ohio. Olds was previously convicted and was sentenced yesterday in a separate case to 92 months imprisonment in connection with a fraud committed against the Ohio Department of Education and the Internal Revenue Service.
The information in relation to the investment scheme has been removed but can be seen in the press release below.
Heard, Moore, McNair, Olds, Scott, Duncan and Granger were charged in a mortgage fraud conspiracy that enabled Moore, who had poor credit, to fraudulently sell his foreclosed residence at 6235 Arbor Glen, Solon, Ohio, and fraudulently purchase a more expensive residence at 6990 Woodlands Lane, Solon, Ohio. This conspiracy also enabled Olds, who also had poor credit, to obtain an interest in the Arbor Glen property through a nominee, and allowed all the defendants to enrich themselves. The indictment charged that McNair was a mortgage broker at Global Mortgage Co., 5311 Northfield Road, Bedford Hts., Ohio, and that Scott was a real estate agent with Realty One in Pepper Pike, Ohio, and that Scott and Duncan were both employed by the Cuyahoga County Auditor’s Office. The indictment charged that Moore, in an effort to move out of his residence at Arbor Glen, sought a straw buyer with good credit to purchase his residence. In order to prevent the filing of additional liens against the Arbor Glen property, Moore and Heard filed a deed on the Arbor Glen property which purported to transfer the title to Moore’s girlfriend. Heard prepared this deed even thought he was a disbarred attorney and not licensed to practice law.
Moore, McNair, Scott, and Olds arranged to bring in Granger as a straw buyer to purportedly purchase the Arbor Glen property. Granger had good credit but little in the way of assets or income, and in fact worked in a donut shop. Olds agreed to pay Granger $20,000 to complete the paperwork to purchase the Arbor Glen property. Moore set the sale price for Arbor Glen property at $545,000 so as to cover his mortgage and to take additional money from this transaction. In order to qualify for a 100 percent loan, and in order to finance that entire amount, Moore, McNair, Scott, Granger, and Olds falsified information as to Granger’s employment, income, and assets.
As a result of this false information, the mortgage company approved Granger’s loan for $545,000 to purchase the Arbor Glen property. These funds were wire transferred from the lender’s bank account in New York, New York, to the title company’s account at National City Bank, Cleveland, Ohio.
Simultaneous to the sale of the Arbor Glen property, Moore sought to purchase a more expensive residence at 6990 Woodlands Lane, Solon, Ohio. Moore offered to pay $725,000 for this property, well above the listed price of $647,500, so as to take additional money from this transaction when Moore was able to finance the purchase price. Moore had a poor credit history, so he and Scott sought out a straw buyer with good credit to purchase this property for Moore. Moore and Scott brought in Duncan to the offices of McNair so that Duncan could secure a loan for 100 percent value of the property. Moore and McNair falsified loan documents to inflate Duncan’s income, assets, and length of employment. The defendant Moore paid Duncan $15,000 to complete this paperwork. The lending company approved Duncan’s loans for $725,000 and wire transferring these funds from New York, New York, to Cleveland, Ohio. Moore directed $69,000 of the proceeds of his loan to purchase the Woodlands Lane property, through Duncan, to Olds so that Olds could make payments on the Arbor Glen property. Moore used the additional funds he received for the Woodlands Lane property to make his loan payments on that property.
The defendant Heard was separately charged with bank fraud in obtaining a mortgage loan to purchase his residence at 5214 Dickens Drive, Richmond Heights, Ohio, by submitting false employment and asset information to the bank.
This case was investigated by the Cleveland Field Offices of the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the United States Postal Inspection Service, the Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division, and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorneys Robert J. Patton and Christian H. Stickan.
An indictment is only a charge and is not evidence of guilt. A defendant is entitled to a fair trial in which it will be the government’s burden to prove guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.