CALIFORNIA ROCK SINGER SENTENCED TO SEVEN YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR MORTGAGE FRAUD
On Oct. 21, Robert Brandon Mawhinney, the singer in a Los Angeles-based rock band called Lights Over Paris was sentenced to seven years in federal prison for submitting false documents to banks to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars in loans, money that he used to fund his musical project and his lavish lifestyle.
Mawhinney had pleaded guilty to four counts of making false statements to federally insured banks and one count of money laundering. The very next day, after pleading guilty according to prosecutors, Mawhinney made additional false statements to another financial institution in an attempt to obtain more credit, conduct that resulted in Judge Carney revoking his bond and remanding him into custody.
“For approximately three and a half years [Mawhinney] obtained and assisted others to obtain substantial loans from multiple banks through fraud,” prosecutors wrote in a sentencing memorandum filed in court. “In order to obtain and maintain the loans, [the] defendant made myriad false statements to the victim banks and presented numerous false documents, including fabricated financial statements and tax returns bearing the forged signatures of identity-theft victims. Even [the] defendant’s family members’ documents weren’t safe; for instance, [Mawhinney] used his grandfather’s Schwab account statements to create some of the fraudulent statements showing inflated balances that he gave to the victim banks.”
Mawhinney, who used the stage name Robb “TaLLLLL” University, obtained more than $11 million in credit after applying for loans by submitting phony brokerage statements that falsely showed that he had almost $8 million in assets. The phony statements were altered versions of real statements from brokerage accounts that actually contained less than $10,000. Mawhinney told bank officials that he needed the money to fund his music business and to purchase recording equipment. According to investigators, Mawhinney used the money from the loans to pay for travel, entertainment and a luxury tour bus that cost well over $750,000. The victim banks were Comerica, JP Morgan Chase, Zions Bank and Bank of America.
In a related case, Mawhinney helped two associates fraudulently obtain more than $1.7 in loans for their music business.
When Mawhinney defaulted on his loans, the victim banks sustained actual losses of over $8.4 million. When his associates defaulted on their loans, lending institutions suffered losses of approximately $1.75 million. (usattycdca102113)
Doing more fraud while you are out on bail guarantees you go to prison. And he still does not seem to have made it as a “rock star.”
FANNIE MAE AND FREDDIE MAC WILL NOW CHASE THE PEOPLE THAT DEFAULT ON THEIR SECOND MORTGAGES
The two companies have issued a release stating they are going to do a better job of going after the strategic defaulters. Fannie and Freddie can pursue judgments against borrowers who walk away from their loans even though they have the ability to make the payments.
Many defaulters do not realize that on second mortgages they can still be held liable for the loss and in fact many are being sued. Freddie Mac has nearly 58,000 foreclosures with estimated deficiencies of $4.6 billion for collection by its debt collector vendors. As of December 2012 these two companies had about 50,000 foreclosures still on the books valued about $4.3 billion. As of March 31, 2013 there were 364,000 mortgages that were 60 or more days delinquent. This is just Freddie Mac!
Fannie Mae as of Dec. 31, 2012 had 105,000 foreclosed properties valued at $9.5 billion along with a “shadow inventory” of 576,000 seriously delinquent mortgages that were 90 or more days late and likely to end up in foreclosure.
As of September 2013 Fannie and Freddie are required to maintain formal procedures for managing the deficiencies and the collection process. (katb3101313)
If you are one of those that had or have a second mortgage and have gone into foreclosure or are likely to, you may be chased. With certain exceptions, although the foreclosure is completed, the promissory note you signed remains and can be enforced as an unsecured debt. There are defenses. So if you are pursued or want to know the likelihood of being pursued see your attorney or consult with us.
FORMER B OF A EMPLOYEE ARRESTED FOR ACCEPTING BRIBES IN RIGGING SHORT SALES IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA
Kevin Lauricella, a former Bank of America Corp. employee has been arrested on suspicion of accepting more than $1 million in bribes for rigging short sales. As an employee he handled delinquent mortgages, and is accused of taking money in exchange for approving the sale of distressed properties at far below their market value.
Lauricella, who worked at a BofA facility in Simi Valley, allegedly took money from the buyers of those homes, said Ariel Neuman, an assistant U.S. attorney in Los Angeles. Lauricella was charged in a 28-count grand jury indictment that listed 18 properties allegedly sold in late 2010 and early 2011 at prices below those the bank would have approved. Lauricella is accused of enabling the sales by improperly approving short sales and falsifying bank records.
Most of the homes were in the San Fernando Valley, but others were in Corona, Coto de Caza, Beverly Hills and Bel Air.
On Oct. 15, Lauricella entered a not guilty plea before a federal magistrate and was released on a $100,000 property bond.
Documents filed with the indictment indicated the government seized Lauricella's Chevrolet Suburban and intend to try to take away his home, on grounds they had been purchased with criminal proceeds.
Plea agreements filed by three other defendants indicated the arrest stemmed from a long-running probe into the manipulation of Southern California short sales for illicit profit. (lat 10171013)
Anyone trying to “rig” a short sale has the same risk as Lauricella.
SOUTH FLORIDA MORTGAGE BROKER GETS OVER 16 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON
On Oct. 15, Quelyory Rigal was sentenced to more than 16 1/2 years in federal prison for her role in a $39 million mortgage fraud that targeted properties in Fort Lauderdale, West Palm Beach and Orlando.