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||Friday, June 8, 2007,
| June 8, 2007
for Appraisal Fraud
Three states are going after mortgage companies
and originators who they claim are responsible
for fraud by residential real estate appraisers.
read story from MortgageDaily.com
Last of ID
Theft Ring Arrested
Authorities arrested Larissa Ballow and seized
he mobile office and stolen identification cards
and equipment used to make them, while erlier
this year they arrested Michael Hartsell who
allegedly used his company, First Choice Mortgage,
to steal the identities of over 100 victims.
read story from NBC San Diego
Two in Fraud
Taiwan Lee received a 30-month sentence for
serving as a straw buyer in a scam that purchased
homes at inflated prices and generated $2.1
million in excess loan proceeds, while Talita
James will serve 27 months for purchasing two
of the homes in one day and committing a crime
while on probation.
read story from Denver Post
Duplicate Mortgage Lender Site
First Hawaiian Bank mortgage loan officers and
other employees gave personal financial information
on a Web page they later found out was created
by scam artists.
read story from KGMB 9
John K. Sanders Jr., who ran a shell company
called RKJ Corp., admitted he pocketed funds
from checks investors wrote for a mortgage investment
opportunity that turned out to be a sham.
read story from Daily Record
Fraud escalated 30 percent in a year's period,
and with other fraud cases coming to surface,
lenders and neighborhoods will continue suffering
read story from American Public Media
June 7, 2007
Colorado hopes to stop fraud through a new law
that requires mortgage brokers to be licensed.
read story from 9 News
Employee Fired for Anti-fraud?
CU Mortgage Direct allegedly fired Becky Gruhlke
because of differences with the chief operating
officer, but she is accusing the company of
wrongly terminating her for consistently refusing
to sign off on fraudulent mortgage documents.
read story from the Argus Leader
Gets 12 Years
Owner of brokerage Phoenix Funding Inc., Mark
D. Musselman, received a 12-year prison sentence
for submitting fraudulent applications, some
with identities of deceased people, to obtain
loans from ABN AMRO Mortgage Co.
read story from the Dayton Daily News
30 for Phony 1003
Sherry Freebery, a former county chief administrator,
faces up to 30 years in prison after admitting
to submitting a fraudulent application for a
refinance mortgage in which she failed to disclose
she had singed a promissory note for a $2.3
million loan intended to be a gift.
read story from The Daily Times
Admit ID, Mortgage Fraud
James J. Lytle is expected to enter a guilty
plea for allegedly brokering home loans obtained
through stolen identities and straw buyers.
read story from the GazetteXtra
June 4, 2007
While ex-husband, Christopher Nickelson, was
sentenced to 15 years for his role in "equity
skimming," Synthia Ippolito now faces sentencing
of up to 30 years after jurors rejected her
defense argument that she was a victim of domestic
violence and forced into doing fraudulent transactions.
read story from the St. Petersburg Times
Tied to Mortgage Co.
Melissa Balo is being held on suspicion that
she participated in a mortgage scam that could
be tied to one in which Michael Hartsell's company,
First Choice Mortgage, was used to invade the
databases of three major credit agencies.
read story from News 8
CO Laws Against
The governor of Colorado signed 14 bills, including
some designed to deter mortgage fraud.
read story from The Denver Channel
Crowley is fraud journalist for MortgageDaily.com
and a reporter and columnist
for The Cincinnati Enquirer.
Email Patrick at: PatCrowl