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FEB 8, 2013 3:32pm ET

Former Title Agent Convicted in Reverse Mortgage Scheme

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A licensed title agent in Florida and former mortgage broker was found guilty for her role in a reverse mortgage fraud scheme in connection to a loan worth more than $400,000.

After a six-day trial in the Southern District of Florida, a federal jury convicted Yesenia Pouparina of four counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud for securing a fraudulent Home Equity Conversion Mortgage and making false representations related to the occupancy of the property and its subsequent short sale.

According to court documents and evidence presented at trial, Pouparina devised a scheme to obtain a reverse mortgage loan on her own property in the name of her mother—who actually failed to meet the requirements of the HECM program.

A HECM is a federally insured loan that enables older Americans to withdraw equity from a home so they can remain independent and financially secure.

As part of her scam, Pouparina submitted to a lending institution a false loan application and modified records in support of that application, misrepresenting her mother’s eligibility to participate in the reverse mortgage program.

During this scam, Pouparina acted as the title agent for the loan and disbursed the loan proceeds directly to her own personal bank accounts. Additionally, she earned more money by collecting fees generated by the loan and also profited by using the loan proceeds in connection with her business as a “hard money lender” in other mortgage deals.

The jury also found that three bank accounts controlled by the defendant, which were seized by the government during the course of its investigation, should be forfeited.

Judge Richard Goldberg ordered Pouparina to surrender to the U.S. Marshals on Feb. 20. She is scheduled to be sentenced in May and faces a maximum penalty per count of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine.

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