RENO WOMAN GETS OVER SIX YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON FOR MORTGAGE FRAUD ON HER IN LAWS’ PROPERTY

FACTS

On April 11, Tandy Anne Kertanis, convicted of fraudulently obtaining a $228,000 home equity loan in her father- and mother-in-law’s names by forging their signatures and the signatures of others has been sentenced to 81 months in prison and ordered to pay $228,000 in restitution for her guilty pleas to identity theft and money laundering charges.

Kertanis pleaded guilty on August 20 to one count of money laundering and one count of aggravated identity theft.

On or about June 19, 2007, Kertanis called Wells Fargo Bank and identified herself as Joann L. Kertanis and applied for a home equity loan in the names of Robert P. Kertanis and Joann L. Kertanis, her father- and mother-in-law. Neither Robert nor Joann Kertanis was aware of the application nor did they authorize Tandy Kertanis to apply for the loan.

In late June 2007, Tandy Kertanis returned a package of loan documents to Wells Fargo. The documents contained the forged signatures of Joann L. Kertanis and/or Robert P. Kertanis, as well as forged signatures of a notary public and the defendant’s mother. The defendant submitted updated loan request documents on July 3, 2007, again containing the forged signatures of her father- and mother-in-law, as well as the forged signature of the notary public, her mother, and a Reno attorney with whom she had consulted on a prior occasion. On about July 6, 2007, Wells Fargo Bank approved the home equity loan and electronically deposited $228,000 into the defendant’s U.S. Bank account in Reno.

On July 10, 2007, Tandy Kertanis allegedly transferred $180,000 from her U.S. Bank checking account into a money market account in the name of her husband at LINSCO/PRIVATE LEDGER in Reno. On July 13, 2007, Kertanis allegedly purchased a Toyota truck at Reno Toyota for $33,534, using the home equity loan money she unlawfully obtained from Wells Fargo.

On February 22, 2012, while Kertanis was awaiting trial in this case, her attorney filed a motion to continue the trial alleging that Kertanis’ young child was suffering from several serious health problems. Attached to the motion were letters from four medical specialists in Reno and California. These medical specialists were contacted and stated that the letters were false and that the young child was not suffering from any serious disease.

Kertanis is free on a personal recognizance bond and must self-report to federal prison on June 10.  (usattynv41213)

MORAL

She sure likes signing other people’s names to things.

ONE MORE REAL ESTATE INVESTOR IN NORTHERN CALIFORNIA CHARGED WITH RIGGING BIDS AT PUBLIC FORECLOSURE SALES

FACTS

On April 16. Mohammed Rezaian, an investor in Novato, Calif., was charged in federal court with conspiring to rig bids at public foreclosure auctions in San Francisco and San Mateo County.

Rezaian is charged with two counts of bid rigging and two counts of conspiracy to commit mail fraud. Federal prosecutors said Rezaian has agreed to plead guilty in the case.

The alleged crimes occurred at property foreclosure auctions between July 2008 and January 2011, according to the U.S. attorney's office in San Francisco. Authorities said Rezaian negotiated payoffs to other people so they would not compete, thus buying properties at suppressed prices and diverting money that should have gone to mortgage holders.

In charging Rezaian, prosecutors demanded that he be forced to forfeit $213,277.18.

Prosecutors did not name the people whom Rezaian allegedly conspired with or say whether they had been charged. But authorities said this case is the 30th plea agreement in an ongoing investigation into foreclosure auction fraud in Northern California. (mrnindjl41613)

MORAL

You would think he would have learned from the other 29. 

TWO SACRAMENTO MEN PLEAD GUILTY TO FRAUD

FACTS

On April 16, two Sacramento-area brothers pleaded guilty to wire fraud related to a mortgage fraud scheme. Andrey and Vitaliy Andreyev entered the pleas in U.S. District Court in Sacramento. The brothers were recruited by Vera Kuzmenko, owner of VK Tax Services, to purchase properties they could not afford. Andrey Andreyev purchased a property for $850,000 and Vitaliy Andreyev bought a property for $1.2 million.

Kuzmenko allegedly promised them money in exchange for buying the properties and prepared the loan applications for the brothers to sign. The loan applications for the properties contained numerous false statements concerning the Andreyevs' income, assets and intention to occupy the properties as primary residences. Court documents allege that Kuzmenko knew the statements on the Andreyev brothers' applications were false because she prepared their taxes.

Kuzmenko is charged in two separate indictments with wire fraud, mail fraud, money laundering and witness tampering in connection with the mortgage fraud scheme.

The Andreyev brothers are to be sentenced July 22 by U.S. District Judge John A. Mendez.   (sacbee41613)

MORAL

Based upon my experience, the brothers are getting sentenced after Kuzmenko goes to trial in exchange for being cooperating witnesses.

LOUISIANA LAWYER CONVICTED OF MORTGAGE FRAUD IN LAS VEGAS

FACTS

On April 11, David Mark was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit bank, wire, and mail fraud; two counts of bank fraud; and one count of mail fraud. He is scheduled to be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Philip M. Pro on July 29.

Mark faces up to 30 years in prison on the conspiracy and bank fraud counts and up to 20 years in prison on the mail fraud count. Mark also faces fines of up to $1 million on the conspiracy and bank fraud counts and up to $250,000 on the mail fraud count.

Mark, who had worked locally as a real estate agent, has been convicted by a jury of conspiracy and multiple fraud counts for his involvement in the mortgage fraud scheme involving over 220 properties and over $50 million in losses, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.

Mark was employed as a real estate agent and transaction coordinator at Distinctive Real Estate and Investments, which was owned and operated by co-conspirator Eve Mazzarella. She had been convicted of fraud in December 2011 and sentenced to 14 years in prison.

From about March 2006 to December 2007, Mark solicited persons with good credit to act as straw buyers to purchase homes in the Las Vegas area. Mark made arrangements to purchase the homes above the sellers’ asking prices and made arrangements for the excess funds to be redirected to business entities controlled by his coconspirators under the pretense that they would make upgrades or perform repairs to the properties.

Mark caused the straw buyers to apply for mortgage loans for the homes, knowing that the straw buyers could not afford and did not intent to make the mortgage payments. Mark caused false information concerning income, employment, assets, liabilities, and intent to occupy the homes to be placed in the straw buyers’ loan applications. Once the financial institutions approved the mortgage loans, Mark caused the financial institutions and escrow and title companies to make third party disbursements to shell companies controlled by his co-conspirators who had an interest in the transactions. Mark’s co-conspirators defaulted on the mortgage payments, causing the properties to go into foreclosure and causing losses to the financial institutions of more than $50 million.  (usattynv41513)

MORAL

If Eva Mazzarella received 14 years in federal prison where there is no parole, imagine what Mark will get in his sentence. Steve Grimm, ex-husband of Eva Mazzarella received 25 years. Remember, no parole in the federal criminal system.

FIVE MORE INDICTED IN PHILADELPHIA IN MORTGAGE FRAUD SCHEME DATING BACK TO 2004   PLUS SEVEN MORE DISCUSSED BELOW MAKE 12

Do you know any of them?

 

FACTS

On April 18, 2013 a 34-count indictment charging five people with various crimes stemming from their participation in a mortgage fraud scheme between May 2004 and February 2009 that involved fraudulent documents, inflated purchase prices on loan documents for more than 100 Philadelphia properties and resulted in more than $20 million in fraudulent loan proceeds. At the center of the alleged conspiracy is KREW. As alleged in the indictment, KREW is an acronym of the first names of Kevin Joseph Franklin, Roderick L Foxworth Sr., Eric Sijohn Brown, and Walter Alston Brown Jr. Settlement Services. The indictment charges Eric Sijohn Brown; Foxworth; Cynthia Evette Brown; Walter Alston Brown Jr.; and Kevin Joseph Franklin with one count of conspiracy to commit loan and wire fraud. The indictment also seeks the criminal forfeiture of over $13.7 million from the defendants.

According to the indictment, Eric Sijohn Brown—a general contractor—worked with other co-conspirators to identify distressed properties to purchase, typically in the West Philadelphia area. The scheme involved recruiting straw buyers whose credit history and personal information was used to purchase the properties, obtain mortgage loans, and take title to the properties, when, in reality, the properties were owned and controlled by the defendants. Mortgage loan applications were then prepared in the names of the straw buyers containing a host of false information, including false purchase prices, false employment and income information, and false statements about the straw buyers living in the properties.

Mortgage brokers, including Foxworth, Walter Brown and John William Polosky (charged separately in the Western District of Pennsylvania)—allegedly submitted the fraudulent loan applications to lenders to secure the loans for the buyers, knowing that the information was false. Cynthia Evette Brown is alleged to have falsely verified that many of the straw buyers worked for her employer, Unicco Service Co., when they did not. Kevin Joseph Franklin, a title agent, is alleged to have falsely prepared two deeds and settlement statements (referred to as Form HUD-1)—one for the seller that showed the actual agreed-upon purchase price and a false one for the lender that showed the grossly inflated purchase price. Franklin is also alleged to have created false title insurance policies for the lenders.

The indictment alleges that after the loans funded, the seller was paid the agreed-upon purchase price, and the difference between the actual purchase price and the false purchase price quoted to the lender was shared with and distributed by Franklin to Eric Brown, Foxworth, Walter Brown, and Cynthia Brown, and many of these payments were not reflected on the HUD-1 forms.

In addition to the conspiracy count, Eric Brown is charged with two counts of FHA loan fraud, 14 counts of loan fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, two counts of wire fraud, and three counts of tax evasion; Kevin Franklin is charged with two counts of FHA loan fraud, 15 counts of loan fraud, one count of aggravated identity theft, one count of wire fraud, and three counts of filing a false tax return; Roderick Foxworth is charged with five counts of loan fraud and two counts of filing a false tax return; Walter Brown, Jr. is charged with one count of FHA loan fraud, six counts of loan fraud, one count of wire fraud, and two counts of tax evasion; and Cynthia Brown is charged with two counts of FHA loan fraud, five counts of loan fraud, and two counts of wire fraud.

In addition to the five defendants charged in this indictment, seven defendants have been charged by information including: Willie G. Manley Jr.; Eric Ponder; Francine Shanique Cross; Gregory Christopher Thornton; Rashika J. Moon; Dontaya S. Devore and Mark Murphy.

According to the indictment, Manley created false income documents which were submitted to lenders; Ponder helped cause the submission of numerous fraudulent loan applications; Cross, a real estate agent and appraiser, helped secure mortgage loans with falsely-inflated appraisals; Thornton recruited a straw buyer and served as a straw buyer; Moon, Devore, and Murphy were straw buyers who allowed their identities to be used to facilitate the submission of knowingly false loan applications.

If convicted, Eric Sijohn Brown faces a maximum possible sentence of 486 years’ imprisonment, including a mandatory two years’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; a $15,800,000 fine; and a $2,300 special assessment.

Kevin Joseph Franklin faces a maximum possible sentence of 490 years’ imprisonment; including a mandatory two years’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; a $16,550,000 fine; and $2,300 special assessment.

Roderick L. Foxworth, Sr. faces a maximum possible sentence of 161 years’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; a $5,450,000 fine; and an $800 special assessment.

Walter Alston Brown, Jr. faces a maximum possible sentence of 217 years’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; a $6,950,000 fine; and a $1,100 special assessment.

Cynthia Evette Brown faces a maximum possible sentence of 197 years’ imprisonment; five years’ supervised release; a $6,000,000 fine; and a $900 special assessment. (usattywdpa41813)

MORAL

This is 1,151 total years in prison. And over $50 million in fines if proven guilty and get maximum sentences and fines. It sounds almost like a joke considering the numbers. Remember how many times I have published the fraud cases over the last five years? It is still ongoing.  As far as I can see, the federal prosecutors are working their way through all nonperforming loans throughout the United States over the last 10 years.

 

THE INFORMATION CONTAINED HEREIN IS NOT LEGAL ADVICE. AN ATTORNEY SHOULD BE CONSULTED IF YOU DESIRE LEGAL ADVICE