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Mortgage Industry Fraud
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February 16, 2007,
A former Kansas elected official who is in trouble along with her attorney husband for alleged mortgage fraud highlights the latest edition of Lawyers Gone Wild.
Katheryn Shields, 60, the former Jackson County executive and her husband, attorney Philip Cardarella, 59, have been indicted along with nine other people on federal charges of "conspiracy and wire fraud for their role in a scheme to engage in mortgage fraud," according to a statement from U.S. Attorney Bradley Schlozman.
"This case represents another tragic example of intelligent individuals -- including lawyers and prominent elected officials -- thumbing their noses at the law in the pursuit of quick and easy cash," said Schlozman, the U.S. Attorney for the Western District if Missouri in Kansas City.
The couple could not be reached to comment, but they have maintained their innocence in published reports.
subscribers read Patrick's full story
Accused of Foreclosure Fraud
The Maryland Attorney General is looking into claims
that a state legislator duped a woman into selling
her home to him.
In a lawsuit filed in Anne Arundel County Circuit
Court, Teresa Milligan accuses Maryland State Delegate
William "Tony" McConkey, a Republican and a real
estate broker, of foreclosure rescue fraud.
McConkey has denied Milligan's claims that he somehow
tricked Milligan into singing over her house to
Kevin Enright, a spokesman for Maryland Attorney
General J. Joseph Curran, confirmed to MortgageDaily.com
that the attorney general's office is "looking into
subscribers read Patrick's full story
Accused of Mortgage Fraud
Michael J. Edison was indicted on charges for
allegedly stealing more than $2 million from
a San Francisco woman as he used her name to
obtain funds for things including a mortgage
and second credit line with Countrywide Mortgage.
story from the San Francisco Gate.
Investigations Bust Mortgage Fraud
Police in Houston are fighting mortgage fraud
by doing undercover investigations, an effort
landed Doris Chen and seven others in jail.
story from the KHOU.
Targets of Mortgage Fraud
One of the more serious forms of fraud scam
artists use against elderly people is persuading
seniors to sign mortgage papers before having
a chance to review them.
story from the Record.
Admits FHA Fraud
Timothy Falls pleaded guilty to forming part
of a mortgage fraud scam in which he falsified
his income, credit and the value of a home when
he applied for a Federal Housing Administration-insured
loan through Citywide Mortgage Co., which prosecutors
say was also in on the scam.
story from KATC 3.
"Rescuer" Steals Woman's Home
Getting attorney advice and refusing to sign
blank documents could have saved an alleged
victim of foreclosure rescue fraud from unknowingly
signing over the deed to her home to a man who
came to her home promising to save her from
story from WRCB-TV.
Fights Mortgage Fraud
The city of Madison, Miss. hired Jim King, the
first local officer on a state task force that
aims to combat mortgage fraud, who says that
he has handled 30 to 40 cases since signing
on to the job three months ago.
story from the Clarion-Ledger .
Steals ID for Mortgage
Charges against Felipe Osornio accuse the man
of using a 19-year-old woman's Social Security
number since she was 14 years old to obtain
a mortgage, car loan, several credit card accounts
and a cell phone.
story from the Daily Herald.
Businessmen Admit Fraud
Robert C. Thigpen and Erich J. Haskell, who
operated Heritage Lending Group mortgage company
and Superior Home Builders Inc. and admitted
to a scheme involving the use of HUD loans for
their personal benefit, face five years in prison
and $250,000 in fines.
story from the Augusta Chronicle.
Fights ID Fraud in Mortgages
More identity verification and due diligence
tools now integrated into Bridger Insight XG
Can Prevent Fraud
Asking questions before signing a mortgage is
one thing borrowers can do to avoid being taken
in by mortgage fraud, which is being called
the country's fastest-growing white-collar crime
and costs lenders more than $1 billion a year.
story from NorthJersey.
Employee Forges Mortgage
A SunTrust Bank employee surrendered to police
after allegedly creating a fake letter and forging
a signature in a mortgage application to try
and save his job.
story from the Savannah Morning News.
Seeks Less Foreclosures
The Senate backed a Colorado bill, intended
to reduce foreclosures, that seeks to bar a
mortgage broker from pressuring or paying an
appraiser to inflate property values, triple
damages for those who do so, and prevent brokers
who are sued or banned for unfair trade practices
to lose their right to practice.
story from the San Francisco Examiner.
Sentenced for Mortgage Scam
James Thomas Davis, owner of Easy Financial
Services, and home builder David Layton were
sentenced to prison for allegedly engaging in
a mortgage scheme in which Davis would pocket
the difference from inflated offers on newly
built homes, and in which investors were used
to obtain loans for homes meant to be inhabited
by them but were instead rented out.
story from the News & Observer.
AG Wants Tougher Law
Attorney General Tom Miller is proposing to
have tighter laws for subprime lenders that
would also ban lenders from misrepresenting
a consumer's income to qualify for a loan and
promising to refinance borrowers into better
terms at a later time.
story from ABC 5.
Scam Uses Fraudulent Mortgages
A lawsuit naming James Duncan, Maurice McLeod
and Hendrix Montecastro has been filed for their
alleged involvement in a scheme in which investment
cash was raised through mortgages for properties
with inflated values.
story from the Press-Enterprise.
Borrowers Apt to Rescue Scams
Economist predicts higher foreclosure numbers
will prompt more "rescue" loans.
to Avoid Foreclosure Scams
Accepting "bargain loans," or "easy
credit," and signing deeds and documents
before reviewing carefully are all red flags
for foreclosure fraud.
story from the Seattle Times.
Prompts Atlanta Foreclosures
Mortgage fraud has contributed to the growing
number of foreclosures in Atlanta, which ranks
third on a list of mortgage fraud hot spots,
a real estate insider said.
story from the USA Today.
Closer's Scam Still Unfolding
Jill Lehn, an ex-mortgage closing agent, awaits
sentencing after admitting to charges involving
60 real estate transactions in which property
values were overstated and extra proceeds from
mortgages were pocketed. The ongoing investigation
of the transactions is expected to generate
a series of arrests.
story from the Star Tribune.
Pleads Guilty to Fraud
A guilty plea was entered by Mohammad "Mike"
Taghie Kakvand, the ringleader in a mortgage
scheme in which he allegedly bought condos that
he did not renovate and sold as rehabbed condos
at inflated prices, resulting in $29 million
in defaulted loans to straw buyers and abandoned
story from the Chicago Sun-Times .
Fuels Early Defaults
Preventable mortgage fraud has played a role
in the rash of early defaults plaguing mortgage
lenders, according to a recent analysis.
subscribers read full story.
Scams Among Top FL Complaints
Florida attorney general warns consumers about
mortgage fraud scams.
Foreclosure Rescue Scams
Tips on how homeowners can avoid foreclosure
and being duped by foreclosure "rescuers".
of Mortgage Fraud Evidence Prevails
Katheryn Shields, who is running for Kansas
City, Mo., mayor, requested to have mortgage
fraud evidence against her publicly released
before the primary, but the request was denied
because it would devastate the fair trial rights
of 10 others allegedly involved in the fraud.
story from The Kansas City Star.
Focused on Fighting Fraud
To combat Indiana's growth of mortgage fraud,
state officials have launched several initiatives
including the Mortgage Fraud and Title Insurance
Task Force, a new real estate insurance division,
and additional staff to monitor title companies
and investigate consumer complaints.
story from the South Bend Tribune .
Scams Expected to Grow
Foreclosure rescue scams, which make consumers
believe their mortgages will be worked out with
the bank but nothing happens while debt accumulates,
have grown in number in the Charlotte, N.C.,
area and the Better Business Bureau predicts
that even more consumer will complain about
these scams this year.
story from the Charlotte Observer .
The sentencing of real estate investor Steven
Green, who admitted to fraud involving use of
a false Social Security number to get a loan
for an apartment complex, was delayed for a
month due to a dispute by CharterMac about how
much in damages Green's caused it through fraud.
story from the St. Petersburg Times.
Among Top NC Complaints
Of the 20,257 complaints the North Carolina
attorney general received in 2006, about 10
percent involved lenders and creditors, including
story from the Asheville Citizen-Times.
Investigated for ID, Mortgage Fraud
While an investigator of financial crimes has
already secured criminal charges against Ida
Mae James, a woman accused of using others'
identities to get about $3 million in home mortgages,
the case has the potential to get bigger through
story from the Star Tribune.
Fraudsters at Large
Authorities are still seeking Jessica Alvarado
and Robert Mora, two of six people in a fraud
ring that allegedly forged signatures on quitclaim
deeds to transfer ownership of property and
then borrowed mortgages against the properties
and pocketed the proceeds.
story from the Arizona Republic.
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Crowley is fraud journalist for MortgageDaily.com
and a reporter and columnist
for The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Email Patrick at: PatCrowley@FraudBlogger.com