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The Other Side of Fraud; Mortgage Fraud News from MortgageDaily.com

DALLAS -- (April 10) When the FBI accused Fred Damaia of mortgage fraud, his life was turned upside down.

The former senior branch manager for now-defunct Advantage Investors Mortgage told readers of MortgageDaily.com, a dominant source of online news for the mortgage industry, about his harrowing experience in an Op-Ed piece.

Damaia's nightmare began in 2002 when the owner of his branch, James Niblock, was being investigated for $8 million in missing customer funds. Damaia was assisting the FBI in the investigation, but the agency was unable to locate the missing funds.

While on family vacation cruise, the Coast Guard and the FBI -- which Damaia said had "hastily concluded that I was in possession of the stolen funds and was taking it on the cruise with me," boarded his ship and arrested him in front of his wife, children and fellow passengers.

"The following morning an attorney arrived from Baltimore and the FBI began to realize their error in arresting me and their rush to judgment," Damaia said. After he was released, his family was unable to leave the ship.

He was finally reunited with his family 10 days later.

"All accusations were proven unfounded by the FBI's thorough and final investigation and they determined that James Niblock was solely responsible for all of the wrong doings," Damaia wrote in his editorial. While the "false arrest ... affected me for many months," he noted that MortgageDaily.com's coverage of the case continues to haunt him today.

Advantage Investors, which reportedly brokered $1.5 billion during 2003, was unable to recover from the scandal and folded in February 2004.

Damaia's case starkly contrasts that of Rebecca Hauck -- who was arrested last month in Houston. Hauck, along with Matthew Cox, had eluded law enforcement authorities as they crisscrossed the country on a mortgage fraud spree using several aliases.

MortgageDaily.com dubbed the pair "the Bonnie and Clyde of mortgage scams" in an August 2004 story.

Cox remains a fugitive.

Read complete corporate mortgage coverage at http://www.MortgageDaily.com/MortgageFraud.asp?spcode=pr

About MortgageDaily.com
Founded in 1998, MortgageDaily.com is a dominant online news source for the mortgage industry. Around one million mortgage business news pages are viewed monthly at MortgageDaily.com and its affiliate publications.

Carmen Garcia
3811 Turtle Creek Blvd.
Suite 700
Dallas, TX 75219

Source: MortgageDaily.com

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