Ex-Judge Convicted of Mortgage Fraud

FEB 7, 2013 4:07pm ET
Comments (6)

Also in 2003, Whoolery recruited Jeannette Gray, a licensed appraiser, and his own sister, Kimberly Baldwin, to join the conspiracy. Gray, for $4,000 a month, agreed to allow Baldwin to prepare appraisals for First Capital and to sign Gray’s name to the appraisals as if Gray prepared the appraisals. The appraisals, however, were not just fraudulent because they falsely represented that a licensed appraiser prepared the appraisals but also because the appraisals overstated the values of the properties serving as collateral for the loans. Baldwin, like Cowden, also substituted pictures of properties.

In 2004, Gray stopped authorizing First Capital’s use of her license. At that point, Whoolery recruited another appraiser, Jason Sheraw, to join the conspiracy. Similar to Gray, Sheraw, in exchange for $4,000 per month, agreed to allow Baldwin to prepare appraisals under his license as if he were actually preparing the appraisals. Baldwin then began to prepare her fraudulent appraisals for First Capital under Sheraw’s name. Between 2003 and 2007, Baldwin prepared hundreds of fraudulent appraisals for First Capital, resulting in the funding of tens of millions of dollars of fraudulent loans.

Whoolery supervised loan officers who submitted loans using the fraudulent appraisals, including Lawrence Kraynak, Daniel O’Connor, Mark Hipsley, John Polosky, Daniel Gillen, Shawn Cupp, Elizabeth Drake, and others. The submissions to the lenders, however, were not just fraudulent because of the appraisals. Rather, the submissions to the lenders also often included representations that overstated the borrowers’ financial conditions, including their incomes and assets. Whoolery and the loan officers also often submitted fake documents in support of those false representations, including fake paystubs and bank statements. Cowden, Kraynak, O’Connor, Hipsley, Polosky, Gillen, Cupp, Drake, Gray, Sheraw, and Baldwin have all been convicted of mortgage fraud related offenses.

In total, the government estimates that the fraudulent submissions related to this scheme led to the funding of more than $100 million in fraudulent loans, making this case the largest mortgage fraud case ever to go to trial in the Western District of Pennsylvania. The law provides for a total sentence of 20 years in prison, a fine of $250,000, or both.  (usattywdpa12913)


Busy little beavers, weren’t they? Now 11 stand convicted. With a potential loss of $100 million I would say that Whoolery is looking at a lot of prison time.




Comments (6)
How does anyone even pay restitution when most of these convicts will never be hired in any good paying jobs and most of them are beyond the age of 30. With life expectacny, have anyone ever paid full restitution? Can surviving family inherit resitutions? LOL
Posted by Brian B | Friday, February 08 2013 at 3:16PM ET
Outrageous Behavior I would like to say something but at the moment I am perplexed and disgusted this trash is what gives our industry fits and an image that hard working Mtg.professionals do not deserve again Outrageous.

Posted by | Friday, February 08 2013 at 8:16PM ET
They never pay the restitution (Final Answer)
Posted by | Sunday, February 10 2013 at 11:01AM ET
Wow, 2 attorneys, and a state Supreme Court Justice and a guy doing whatever. None of them Mortgage Brokers. Not saying there were not bad one's, but geez. You will never legislate morality.
Posted by Nancy V | Monday, February 11 2013 at 4:47PM ET
Banks, Mortgage pretender Lenders and Attorneys / Judges,(i repeat myself?),who would beLIEve; this would turn OUT well?
Posted by | Tuesday, March 12 2013 at 11:04AM ET
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