Monday, October 10, 2011

Lucescu Beniamin Lucian arestat luna trecuta de autoritatile din Portland, Oregon

Lucescu Beniamin Lucian in varsta de 42 de ani din Portland Oregon a fost arestat luna trecuta de catre autoritati. Acesta a fost inculpat intr-un proces de frauda imobiliara in 2009 si gasit vinovat anul trecut.

Decembrie 2010: Benjamin Lucian Lucescu, 41, owner of American Capital Mortgage Corporation, was charged with knowingly preparing on behalf of a borrower, five residential loan applications related to three different properties that falsified the borrower’s financial qualifications.

“It is important that those in the mortgage industry, like Mr. Lucescu, be held accountable for the devastation they caused by cheating the banks and misleading their customers,” said U.S. Attorney Dwight C. Holten. “We will continue to investigate and prosecute those who cheat the home mortgage loan system.”

Lucescu will appear before U.S. District Judge Michael Mosman for sentencing Feb. 11.

The maximum penalty for each of the three bank fraud convictions is 30 years in prison and a fine of $1 million. The maximum penalty for each of the two wire fraud convictions is 20 years in prison and a fine of $250,000. The actual sentence will be determined under the federal sentencing guidelines.

Tuesday, July 26, 2011

Two Arrested in $17 Million Mortgage Fraud Scheme

PHOENIX—A federal grand jury in Phoenix returned an indictment earlier this week against mortgage broker Michele Marie Mitchell, 43, of Glendale, and her alleged associate, Jeremy West Pratt, 32, of Phoenix. The indictment, returned on June 28, charged Mitchell and Pratt each with one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud. Special agents of the Internal Revenue Service and the FBI arrested Mitchell and Pratt on Thursday.

“With these arrests, we are confronted once again with the damage and pain that mortgage fraud caused in our community and to our economy,” said U.S. Attorney Dennis K. Burke. “Criminals out to make a fraudulent profit deepened this mortgage crisis and made recovery more difficult. We all appreciate the efforts of the IRS and the FBI in bringing this particular scheme to a stop, and we will continue to investigate and prosecute others like it.”

Special Agent in Charge Dawn Mertz of the IRS Criminal Investigation stated, “This case is yet another example of a ‘get rich quick’ scam gone bad. Unfortunately, mortgage fraud schemes such as this one impact all of us with deflated property values, empty homes, and significant financial consequences to banks, taxpayers, and neighborhoods.”

“Mortgage fraud continues to persist as a serious crime problem in Arizona,” said Steven R. Hooper, FBI Acting Special Agent in Charge, Phoenix Division. “This indictment signifies that the FBI’s Mortgage Fraud Task Force is continuing its efforts to protect our community and financial institutions from the effects of mortgage fraud.”

The indictment alleges that Mitchell portrayed herself as a mortgage broker, loan officer, and real estate investor. She allegedly did business at an office on East Vista Bonita Drive in Scottsdale. Pratt is alleged to be the president of Arizona Cooling Control Plus, Inc. and involved in construction and remodeling work. The indictment charges that as part of their alleged conspiracy, Mitchell and Pratt recruited people with good credit scores to act as straw buyers to ostensibly purchase one or more properties as investments. Mitchell and Pratt allegedly enticed the straw buyers by offering to pay a kickback of up to $15,000 per property or to make the mortgage payments until the property could be resold for a profit, or both. In addition, the indictment charges that the defendants submitted false loan applications and supporting documents to induce lenders to fund loans. Then, at the close of escrow, they enriched themselves by directing a portion of loan proceeds, or “cash back,” to a company which one of them controlled.

The indictment goes on to allege that between October 2005 and February 2007, Mitchell and Pratt obtained mortgage financing for 17 properties and induced lenders to fund approximately $17 million in loans, resulting in over $2.4 million dollars in cash back. The properties are located in Glendale, Scottsdale, Surprise, Peoria, Goodyear, and Phoenix. The indictment charges that the defendants failed to make the mortgage payments as promised and that each of the 17 properties went into foreclosure.

Conviction for the crimes of conspiracy and wire fraud each carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison, a $1 million fine, or both. This case has been assigned to United States District Judge James A. Teilborg. In determining an actual sentence, Judge Teilborg will consult the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide appropriate sentencing ranges. The judge, however, is not bound by those guidelines in determining a sentence.

Fugitive Extradited from Romania Facing Federal Charges

OXFORD, MS—John Marshall Alexander, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Mississippi; Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi; and Jeff Woodfin, Acting United States Marshal for the Northern District of Mississippi, announce that:

Thomas Lowell Ketchum, 53, of Saltillo, Mississippi, a fugitive who has been hiding out in Romania since he was investigated by the FBI in 2005, has been arrested and extradited to the United States to face charges stemming from an indictment that was returned against him by a grand jury in March of 2006.

Ketchum, who appeared before United States Magistrate Judge David A. Sanders in Oxford yesterday, faces charges of possession of firearms by a convicted felon, possession with the intent to defraud of more than 15 unauthorized credit cards, and possession of a United States passport and Social Security number without lawful authority. He was remanded to the temporary custody of the U.S. Marshals pending an arraignment and detention hearing on March 31, 2011.

Following a diligent search by U.S. authorities, and in coordination with the Romanian authorities and the U.S. State Department, Ketchum was arrested in Romania in September 2010. He has been in Romanian custody since that time, fighting extradition. Following the exhaustion of all appeals, Romanian officials agreed to extradition, and Deputy U.S. Marshals traveled to Romania last week to return Ketchum to the United States.

Daniel McMullen, Special Agent in Charge of the FBI in Mississippi, stated: “Those accused of criminal conduct should not fool themselves into thinking they can flee the United States to avoid prosecution. Nor should they believe that the passage of time will protect them from apprehension. The FBI’s role is not to determine guilt or innocence. Our role in fugitive matters is to bring the accused before the appropriate court and allow the judicial process to take its course. For over five years, special agents and task force agents of the FBI and deputy U.S. Marshals persevered in their efforts to locate and apprehend this subject. Ketchum’s arrest and return to the United States is the result of cooperation and coordination between the Romanian authorities, the United States Department of State, and federal law enforcement in the state of Mississippi.”

According to the indictment, Ketchum used the name and Social Security number of his deceased brother to obtain multiple credit cards and a United States passport, all without lawful authority, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Sections 1028(a)(6) and 1029(a)(3). It is also alleged in the indictment that Ketchum was a previously-convicted felon in possession of four firearms, in violation of 18 U.S.C. Section 922(g)(1).

United States Attorney John Marshall Alexander stated: “The successful apprehension and return of Mr. Ketchum to the United States is a prime example of how diligence and cooperation among law enforcement entities can bring about desired results. The U.S. Attorney’s Office is grateful to the FBI and the U.S. Marshals for their persistence in discovering the whereabouts of this individual, and thus ensuring that this important case, involving multiple instances of fraud, is brought to completion.”

If convicted on all counts, Ketchum faces up to 35 years in prison, up to $750,000 in fines, and up to nine years’ supervised release.

An indictment is merely a charge and the defendant is presumed innocent until proven guilty.

This case is being investigated by special agents and task force agents of the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the United States Marshal Service and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Paul Roberts.

Saturday, July 16, 2011

Organized Romanian Criminal Groups Targeted by DOJ and Romanian Law Enforcement

FBI: An ongoing Internet fraud scheme conducted by several networks of organized cyber criminals in Romania and the United States has been disrupted as a result of a series of law enforcement actions coordinated since 2010 between Romanian and U.S. law enforcement, including numerous arrests and searches that took place yesterday in Romania.

More than 100 individuals have been arrested and charged in Romania and judicial districts in the United States as a result of close cooperation between the Romanian General Inspectorate of Police, Directorate for Combating Organized Crime, the Romanian Directorate for Investigating Infractions of Organized Crime and Terrorism (DIICOT), the Romanian Intelligence Service (SRI), the General Directorate of Jandarmeria in Romania (GIJR) and the FBI, the U.S. Secret Service, the Computer Crime and Intellectual Property Section (CCIPS) in the Justice Department’s Criminal Division, and the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Southern District of Florida, the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of Missouri.

Yesterday, Romania law enforcement executed 117 searches targeting more than 100 individuals allegedly involved in the fraudulent scheme involving fake sales of merchandise through the Internet. Romanian law enforcement targeted individuals organizing and perpetrating this fraud from Romania.

According to U.S. court documents, in many of the cases, conspirators located in Romania would post items for sale such as cars, motorcycles and boats on Internet auction and online websites. They would instruct victims located in the United States and elsewhere who wanted to buy those items to wire transfer the purchase money to a fictitious name they claimed to be an employee of an escrow company. Once the victim wired the funds, the co-conspirators in Romania would text information about the wire transfer to co-conspirators in the United States known as “arrows” to enable them to retrieve the wired funds. They would also provide the arrows with instructions as to where to send the funds after retrieval. The arrows in the United States would go to money transmitter service counters such as Western Union or MoneyGram International, provide false documents including passports and drivers’ licenses in the name of the recipient of the wire transfer, and obtain the funds. They would subsequently wire the funds overseas, typically to individuals in Romania, minus a percentage kept for their commissions. In some cases, co-conspirators in Romania also directed arrows to provide bank accounts in the United States where larger amounts of funds could be wired by victims of the fraud. The victims would not receive the items they believed they were purchasing.

The Romania investigation is being conducted in conjunction with ongoing criminal investigations in the United States that also have been targeting this criminal activity. Since May 2010, the FBI and the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Southern District of Florida have arrested and prosecuted numerous individuals from Romania, Moldova and the United States allegedly involved in this fraud scheme. Vadim Gherghelejiu, 29, of Moldova; Anatolie Bisericanu, 25, of Moldova; Jairo Osorno, 22, of Surfside, Fla.; Jason Eibinder, 22, of Sunny Isles Beach, Fla.; and Ciprian Jdera, 25, of Romania, have been convicted in the Southern District of Florida of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.

A 21-count indictment returned in Miami on Feb. 22, 2011 charged Pedro Pulido, 41, of Pembroke Pines, Fla.; Ivan Boris Barkovic, 19, of Sunny Isles Beach; Beand Dorsainville, 20, of North Miami Beach, Fla.; Sergiu Petrov, aka “Serogia,” 27, of Moldova; Oleg Virlan, 32, of Moldova; Marian Cristea, 22, of Romania; and Andrian Olarita, 26, of Moldova, with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and substantive counts of wire fraud. Pulido, Barkovic, Dorsainville and Olarita have pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Petrov, Virlan and Cristea remain at large and are considered fugitives.

On July 8, 2011, Adrian Culda, 37, of Romania, was arrested and subsequently charged in a complaint filed in Miami with conspiracy to commit wire fraud as part of this alleged cyber crime activity. Tiberiu Zachiteanu, 19, of Romania, was also charged in the same complaint with conspiracy to commit wire fraud and was arrested on July 12, 2011.

An investigation conducted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Western District of Pennsylvania led to the arrests of seven defendants, including one individual in Pittsburgh, three individuals in the Eastern District of Missouri, two individuals in Fort Bend County, Texas, and one individual in Kentucky. Marion Potcovaru, 30, of Romania, pleaded guilty on Feb. 2, 2011, to wire fraud related charges in the Western District of Pennsylvania. In St. Louis, the U.S. Attorney’s Office charged Augustin Prundurelu, 32, and Georgiana Andrei, 25, both of Romania, with forgery and passport fraud. Both defendants pleaded guilty and each were sentenced to six months in prison and ordered to pay restitution of $18,365. In addition, Sorin Mihai Madaian, 22, of Romania, pleaded guilty on May 23, 2011, in the Eastern District of Missouri to passport fraud charges. Victor Angelescu, 28, of Romania, was charged by the Commonwealth Attorney’s Office for the 27th Judicial Circuit of Kentucky with related wire fraud charges. In Fort Bend County, Texas, Klara Mirabela Rusu, 24, and Eduard Sorin Neacsu, 36, were arrested on June 3, 2011, by officers from the Houston Police Department and charged by Fort Bend and Harris County authorities with money laundering and making false statements to obtain property. Rusu was indicted by a Fort Bend County grand jury on July 11, 2011, and charged with the felony offenses of money laundering and making a false statement. Neacsu’s grand jury date is pending due to possible additional charges. Both individuals are currently detained.

According to court documents, detectives observed Rusu and Neacsu enter a WalMart store, where Rusu and Neacsu presented a MoneyGram voucher and false identifications to a store clerk. Rusu and Neascu received $2,890 through Western Union and Money Gram from a victim in another state who had wired the money in response to an Internet advertisement for merchandise, which the victim never received. Rusu and Neacsu were later arrested and a search of their room produced a large amount of U.S. currency, computers, printers, plastic for manufacturing false identifications, an exacto knife, multiple mobile phones and false identifications with Neacsu’s picture.

An indictment is merely an allegation, and defendants are presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

The Internet fraud scheme has resulted in an estimated loss of more than $10 million from victims, including those in the United States. The full loss amount and identification of additional victims is ongoing.

Over the last 10 years, U.S. law enforcement authorities have strengthened ties with Romanian law enforcement authorities to address the rising threats posed by Romanian-based organized cyber criminal networks. To date, hundreds of defendants have been arrested and charged in the United States, Romania, and other countries as a result of this cooperation.

The Department of Justice International Organized Crime Intelligence and Operations Center (IOC-2) has provided support and assistance to these ongoing investigations. IOC-2 partners with various law enforcement agencies to combine data and produce actionable leads for investigators and prosecutors working nationwide to combat international organized crime. IOC-2 also coordinates the resulting multi-jurisdictional investigations and prosecutions with its member agencies, U.S. Attorneys’ Offices and foreign law enforcement authorities.

The ongoing investigations are being led by the FBI and the U.S. Secret Service. U.S. Immigrations and Custom Enforcement is participating in the investigation related to the Pittsburgh cases. The federal cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys from the U.S. Attorneys’ Offices for the Southern District of Florida, the Western District of Pennsylvania and the Eastern District of Missouri, with support from CCIPS.

Local law enforcement assisting in these prosecutions include the Medina County, Ohio, Sheriff’s Office; the London, Ky., Police Department; Memphis, Tenn., Airport Police; the Kirkwood, Mo., Police Department; the Fort Bend and Harris County, Texas, District Attorneys’ Offices; the Houston Police Department; the Hallandale Beach, Fla., Police Department; the Pembroke Pines Police Department; the Miami Gardens Police Department; the Sunny Isles Beach Police Department; the North Miami Beach Police Department and the Davie, Fla., Police Department.

Also assisting law enforcement were the FBI’s Internet Crime Complaint Center (IC3), Wal-Mart Stores, Western Union, MoneyGram International, the National Cyber-Forensics and Training Alliance (NCFTA) and Publix Grocery Stores.

Victims of Internet crime are encouraged to report evidence of fraudulent activity to the IC3 via

Monday, May 16, 2011

Michael Morawski and Frank Constant charged with fraud

Michael Morawski, 53, Sleepy Hollow, Illinois, and Frank Constant, 57, West Dundee, Illinois, two businessmen who operated a defunct northwest suburban real estate investment company, were charged with engaging in an alleged investment fraud scheme that obtained more than $16 million from more than 300 investors. The defendants were each charged with one count of mail fraud and one count of wire fraud in a criminal complaint.

The defendants, who operated Michael Franks LLC, and several related business entities in Palatine, Illinois, allegedly misused money they raised from investors for their own benefit and to make Ponzi-type payments to earlier investors.

Morawski and Constant are scheduled to voluntarily appear before U.S. Magistrate Judge Sheila Finnegan in U.S. District Court.

According to the charges, Michael Franks offered investors passive ownership in multi-family residential properties, including apartment building complexes located in Illinois, Texas and Alabama. Morawski and Constant offered two types of investments to the public: in one, they represented that investors' funds would be used to acquire, improve and operate specific apartment complexes for a period of three to five years, and for the most part, investors were told they would earn between seven and nine percent annually, and potentially more upon the sale of the property; in the second, they offered real estate-based "funds" to investors, which were executed using promissory notes, and often offered an annual interest payment of between 8 and 30 percent per year to investors. Through these purported investments, the defendants raised more than $16 million from more than 300 investors between 2006 and 2010.

The charges allege Morawski and Constant, through Michael Franks, engaged in a scheme to defraud investors about the nature of their investments and their use of investor funds. It alleges that they engaged in a Ponzi-scheme by continually using funds raised from new investors to pay purported returns to earlier investors, all of which they concealed from both new and earlier investors.

In November 2010, Morawski and Constant turned over Michael Franks, its real estate projects and investment funds to a company called Commercial Recovery Assets to act as a private trustee/receiver. Since then, federal agents learned that many of the real estate properties have gone into foreclosure and the secured lending banks will likely take possession of the properties and any proceeds, leaving investors to lose much, if not all, of the principal they invested in Michael Franks.

The charges allege that certain real estate projects undertaken by Michael Franks performed poorly and failed to generate enough revenue to meet operating expenses. The defendants began transferring funds from various investments to support poorly-performing projects and to pay earlier investors with funds raised from new investors, without disclosing this information, the charges add. At the same time, they allegedly misused investor funds to pay employees, to make commission payments to individuals who raised new funds, and to pay themselves, as well as to make payments for Constant's company car, country club payments, and to extend loans to certain friends of Morawski.

Each count of mail fraud and wire fraud carries a maximum penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, and restitution is mandatory. The Court may also impose a fine totaling twice the loss to any victim or twice the gain to the defendant, whichever is greater. If convicted, however, the Court must impose a reasonable sentence under the advisory United States Sentencing Guidelines.

Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois, and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation announced the charges.

Saturday, May 14, 2011

Banker Robert Randal Jones gets 10 years in prison

Robert Randal Jones, 50, Cornelia, Georgia, was sentenced by United States District Judge William C. O'Kelley to serve 10 years in federal prison for orchestrating a conspiracy to defraud Community Bank & Trust ("CB&T"). Three other co-defendants were also sentenced for their participation in the scheme.

Jones was sentenced to 10 years in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release. Jones was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $5,907,031. Jones was also ordered to perform 1000 hours of community service following his release from prison. Jones was remanded to federal custody immediately after the sentencing hearing.

Joseph C. Penick, Jr., 51, Cornelia, Georgia, was sentenced to 2 years in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, ordered to pay $2,058,252 in restitution, and ordered to perform 600 hours of community service.

Douglas C. Emig, 55, Clarkesville, Georgia, was sentenced to 3 years in federal prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, ordered to pay $2,786,948 in restitution, and also ordered to perform 600 hours of community service.

Berrong Moulton, 46, of Cleveland, Georgia, was sentenced to 2 years, 6 months in federal prison, to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, ordered to pay $2,373,086 in restitution, and also ordered to perform 600 hours of community service.

According to the information presented in court: From February 2005 through May 2009, while Jones was CB&T's Executive Vice-President and Chief Credit Officer, he conspired to commit bank fraud with some of CB&T's customers, including Penick, Emig, Moulton.

In June 2005, Penick obtained a loan for approximately $500,000 from CB&T to finance his purchase of 54 acres of land in Hart County, Georgia. Jones approved this loan on behalf of CB&T. A month later, Jones arranged for Penick to sell the 54 acres to Emig for more than $1.6 million (resulting in a profit to Penick of more than 300%). Jones also approved a loan related to this purchase on behalf of CB&T. Out of his share of the profits from the sale of the 54 acres, Penick paid a kickback to Jones of more than $400,000 and paid a kickback to Emig of $270,000.

In August 2005, Penick obtained a loan for approximately $672,000 from CB&T to finance his purchase of another 98 acres of land in Hart County, Georgia. Jones approved this loan on behalf of CB&T. Eight days later, Jones arranged for Penick to sell the 98 acres to Emig for approximately $1.6 million, resulting in a profit to Penick of more than 240%. Jones also approved a loan to Emig to make this purchase on behalf of CB&T. Out of his share of the profits from the sale of the 98 acres, Penick paid a kickback to Jones of more than $371,000 and paid a kickback to Emig of $200,000.

In addition, Moulton, a real estate developer and home builder, owed millions of dollars to CB&T on various personal and business loans, which he could not afford to repay. In an effort to prevent bank regulators from discovering how much money Moulton had borrowed from CB&T, and in order to provide Moulton with the funds he needed to pay the interest on his past-due loans at CB&T, Jones and Moulton caused CB&T to make fraudulent loans to straw borrowers for Moulton's use and benefit. These loans were made in the names of Moulton's mother, wife, and daughter, as well as a fictitious entity called "ABK Designs." The total principal amount of these fraudulent loans was approximately $2.8 million. Moulton's mother, wife, and daughter had no knowledge of the fraudulent loans and did not benefit from them in any way. Moulton used the proceeds of the fraudulent loans to make payments on his past-due loans at CB&T.

The evidence also showed that Jones fraudulently obtained more than $800,000 from CB&T through a series of fraudulent loans that he set up in the names of various members of his own family, without their knowledge or consent. Jones forged the signatures of the people in whose names he obtained these loans and then used the loan proceeds for his own personal purposes.

All of the defendants were ordered to forfeit any and all fraud proceeds they obtained as a result of their offenses. Jones forfeited his entire interest in, among other things, the franchise rights to six "Zaxby's" restaurants, eleven real properties, two certificates of deposit, three investment accounts, and approximately $150,000 in jewelry.

Penick and Emig pleaded guilty on August 27, 2010, to a Criminal Information charging one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Moulton pleaded guilty on September 30, 2010, to a Criminal Information charging one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud. Jones pleaded guilty on January 20, 2011, to a Criminal Information charging one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud.

Tuesday, May 10, 2011

Banker sentenced for mortgage fraud

Jeffrey L. Levine, 70, Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced by United States District Judge J. Owen Forrester to serve 5 years in federal prison on charges of causing materially false entries that overvalued bank assets to be made in the books, reports, and statements of Omni National Bank.

Levine was sentenced to 5 years in prison to be followed by 5 years of supervised release, and ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $6,761,791. Levine pleaded guilty to the charges on January 14, 2010.

As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, and according to the charges and other information presented in court: Levine was Executive Vice-President, the second largest bank shareholder, and head of the Community Redevelopment Lending Department at Omni National Bank from 2000 through October 12, 2007. To keep non-performing loans current on paper, Levine and others at Omni failed to disclose many exceptions to their policies and procedures which resulted in Omni being exposed to a greater risk of loss. Practices that went unreported included: diversion of loan proceeds escrowed for rehab; excessive credit concentrations to a single borrower; funding additional loans for Omni foreclosures at ever-increasing amounts; and failing to create sufficient reserves for those questionable loans or to properly record them on Omni's books and records.

Before takeover by the FDIC on March 27, 2009, Omni was headquartered in Atlanta with branch offices in Birmingham, Tampa, Chicago, Fayetteville, N.C., Houston, Dallas and Philadelphia. Omni borrowed federal funds at low rates to make high-interest, short-term loans through Levine's Community Redevelopment Department to borrowers with less than stellar credit and often no steady employment or formal education. Such Omni borrowers were supposed to purchase and rehab distressed properties for prompt resale or Section 8 rental in run-down, inner-city neighborhoods. Borrowers were expected to do most of the rehab themselves within a few months of the loan, and qualify for a loan to purchase a second property only when the first property was sold or ready for sale. Omni, its regulators and investors relied on the expected increased value of the property after rehab to be well in excess of the loan amount. The Redevelopment Department generated a significant portion of the Omni profits reported on its books and reports, although the facts now show that those profits were materially overstated.

Levine and others were well aware that none of the foreclosed properties could be sold on the open market for the amount of the outstanding Omni loans. A number of foreclosures were never disclosed on the Omni books as required, and some properties were resold up to five times at ever-increasing amounts. The actions of Levine and others at Omni resulted in an overvaluation of bank assets, which in turn misled Omni's outside auditors, its Office of the Comptroller of the Currency regulator, its FDIC insurer, the Securities and Exchange Commission, and Omni shareholders. Such practices contributed to the over 500 foreclosures and an additional 500 non-performing loans, which resulted in at least $7 million in losses to the FDIC.

The evidence showed that the HUD Section 8 Program and its tenants also suffered, because many of the Omni-funded distressed properties were not rehabbed, but rather stood vacant or were inhabited by squatters for years, corrupting other Section 8 properties and the community. Even if rented, the frequent Omni foreclosures resulted in unstable housing for Section 8 tenants, as well as increased crimes resulting from the vacant properties and transient tenants.

Additional Omni-related prosecutions to date include:

Delroy Oliver Davy, 38, Lithonia, Georgia, pleaded guilty on May 11, 2010, to bank fraud and conspiracy to commit bank, mail and wire fraud, in connection with a scheme to fraudulently obtain millions of dollars of mortgage loans from Omni and other lenders. Davy was sentenced by Judge Forrester to serve 14 years in prison.

Karim Walthour Lawrence, 33, Atlanta, Georgia, pleaded guilty on January 5, 2011, to accepting bribes from contractors he selected to rehab Omni foreclosed properties while he was an officer of Omni. He will be sentenced before United States District Judge Willis B. Hunt, Jr. A sentencing date has not yet been set by the court.

Christopher Bernard Loving, 33, McDonough, Georgia, was sentenced on August 24, 2010, to 3 years probation for making false statements to agents of the Office of the Special Inspector General for the Troubled Asset Relief Program (SIGTARP) and the FDIC in connection with an investigation of kickbacks he paid Omni officer Karim Lawrence for construction contracts.

Brent Merriell, 39, Atlanta, Georgia, was sentenced on August 3, 2010, to over 3 years in prison for making false statements to the FDIC regarding short-sales of Omni-funded properties and aggravated identity theft. Merriel's conviction resulted from a SIGTARP/FDIC sting operation.

Sunday, April 3, 2011

15 Individuals Charged in Multi-Million Dollar Mortgage Fraud

11 individuals have been charged for their role in a mortgage fraud case that spanned Florida counties: Flagler, Volusia and Lake Counties, involved 23 homes and resulted in more than $9 million in losses. Four people are still wanted in relation to this case. All individuals are charged with one count of criminal racketeering and one count of conspiracy to commit racketeering, both first-degree felonies.

The following individuals were arrested:

Jonathan Bravo, 33, Miami, Florida;
Cristian Diaz, 34, Doral, Florida;
Jamie De La Roche, 42, Lake Worth, Florida;
Carlos Esteller, 43, Miami;
Edith Esteller, 51, Miami;
Patricia De La Espiella, 49, Miramar, Florida;
Carmen Ganem, 30, Miami;
Claudia Ganem, 36, Miami;
Argenis Lugo, 33, Doral;
Adrian Pena, 34, Miami; and
Linda Kasper, 64, Flagler Beach, Florida.

The following individuals are still being sought by authorities. Individuals with information about their location should contact their local authorities.

Nieves Alvarez, 50, Miami;
Nelson Pinzon, 48, Delray Beach
Cruz Urbano, 44, Hialeah, Florida; and
Randy Ly, 45, Seattle, Washington.

The two-year investigation, named "Operation Fast Cash Kickback," focused on a complex scheme involving home buyers, realtors, appraisers, and mortgage brokers. Investigators allege the charged individuals artificially raised home prices, falsified appraisals, and pocketed large amounts of cash by facilitating a series of fraudulent home sales. The scam involved using "straw buyers" to purchase a home. The straw buyer's realtor then asked the seller to raise the price of the home in order for the difference to be provided back to the straw buyer for alleged "renovations." The appraiser would then inflate the price of the home to meet the contract sales price. At closing, a designated third party individual or shell company received the proceeds for "renovations," which ranged from $25,000 to $320,000 for each sale. The third party recipient then returned a majority of the funds back to the straw buyer via check or wire transfer. No renovations were ever conducted on the homes and each of the properties foreclosed a short time after the sale. The estimated loss to date is approximately $9 million.

Saturday, April 2, 2011

E la moda sa nu-ti platesti datoriile, da e oare si moral?!

Daca e sa-l urmam pe pastorul Ionescu se pare ca raspunsul este DA, e legal. Da e oare si moral?
Este moral sa nu mai platesti datoriile, chiar si atunci cand esti un lider si pastor de biserica, om al lui Dumnezeu care ar trebui sa fie un exemplu de urmat?!
Da, dar cineva poate sa vina cu tot felu de explicatii: ca sa vedeti ca economia e de vina, ca preturile la case au scazut, ca banca e dispusa sa mai negocieze, sa reduca datoria, bla bla bla...... Motivele, scuzele si explicatiile pot fi diverse, cert e ca atunci cand iei banul te angajezi sa-l platesti inapoi, daca nu, se numeste pur si simplu ca ai mintit, ca ai tras teapa, ca nu te-ai tinut de cuvant, ca esti neserios, ca ........ Lasi rata neplatita, casa intra in foreclosure si te rezolvi (ca numai asa discuta banca cu tine si negociaza, daca nu mai platesti...stie el "nu e` prosti romanii, e` destepti" stie reteta ca s-a informat de la altii care stiu ei ce si cum sa faca...)
Fratele Ionescu considera ca" persoana care lanseazã atacurile este plinã de rãutate dar si ignorantã. Referindu-se la salariul meu, uitã sã mentioneze cã am 10 copii." pardon mon cher, asta e scuza, 10 copii?! Pai cine s-a inveselit cu placerile trupesti de 10 ori, n-ar trebui sa fie oare si responsabil?! Sau daca nu, s-a inventat prezervativul frate, metoda calendarului, chiar si abstinenta... Dumnezeu o fi zis el sa ne inmultim si sa umplem pamantul, da ne-a dat si creier si se astepta credem ca sa judecam cu el, nu sa turnam doar la copii si pe urma sa-i folosim ca si scuza ca ne e greu in viata, ca deh e famelie mare, remuneratie dupa buget, mica....vorba lui conu Caragiale.
Da vorba aceea "sa faci cum zice popa(pastorul), nu cum face popa".
Pastorul Cristian Ionescu din Chicago (biserica Elim unde sunt multi lupi in haine de oaie, ATENTIE nu toti sunt LUPI !!!) se pare ca a tot luat la bani ( peste jumatate de milion de doalri) pana nu si-a mai permis sa plateasca datoria, ajungand la foreclosure, adica incapacitate de plata.(Incapacitate vorba vine, ca este o metoda smechereasca aplicata si folosita de multi romani, care chiar daca au banii sa platesca, pur si simplu nu mai platesc, ca deeeeh nu-s ei prosti). Poate ca daca fratele Ionescu isi spunea doleanta in adunare, faceau fratii o colecta si rezolva problema!
Pai daca nu isi permite acum oare de ce i-a luat banii, in za first place?! Nu se baza tot pe venitul si salarul actual?

Oare n-a semnat acolo, si si-a luat angajamentul sa-i plateasca bani la termen inapoi bancii?
Probabil ca legile dumnezeiesti nu se aplica totdeauna si pentru pastorii care predica, cu atat mai putin cele pamantesti! "Da"-ul tau sa sa fie "da" si "nu" sa fie nu...parca asa zice ne invata la biserica in una din predici fratele Ionescu.
Daca pastorul nu isi plateste datoriile, nu mai e de mirare ca enoriasii il urmeaza ca doar turma merge dupa pastor, nu-i asa?
Din pacate multi din turma fratelui Ionescu, ( un alt pastor si lider de 'nadejde' si plin de datorii este Stefan Tohatan) sunt niste lupi gata sa te sfasie, niste asa zisi oameni de afaceri fara scrupule (DA, FARA SCRUPULE, cunoastem noi personal cativa, nu doar asa din auzite!!) gata sa te sfasie si sa-ti traga teapa si sa-ti ia beregata cand ti-e lumea mai draga, "sfanti" duminica la biserica, indarjiti si mai rai ca talibanii in cursul saptamanii, unii din ei avand tupeu chiar sa iti spuna in fata ca afacerile nu au de a face cu mersul la biserica......adica se accepta tepele in cursul saptamanii si duminica te rogi la Doamne, Doamne sa te ierte....

Culmea este ca banii pentru plimbat in Israel s-au gasit...

Saturday, March 26, 2011

Illinois man sentenced 20 years in prison for mortgage fraud

Bobbie L. Brown, Jr., 47, Country Club Hills, Illinois, was sentenced to 20 years in federal prison in one of the largest federal mortgage fraud prosecutions ever in Chicago, Illinois.

Brown pled guilty in 2010 to charges in two separate indictments, each alleging of mail, wire and bank fraud. U.S. District Judge Virginia M. Kendall imposed the 20 year prison term and ordered Brown to pay restitution in excess of $32 million and to forfeit in excess of $24 million at a hearing in Federal Court.

According to first indictment, Brown, who operated several businesses, including Chicago Global Investments, Inc., B&M Customs Homes, Inc., Brown Trucking, Inc., and World Wide Investments, Inc., and 20 co-defendants were charged with fraudulently obtaining more than $95 million in loan proceeds from lenders for themselves and others. The victim lenders incurred losses totally approximately $24 million on the defaulted loans. The residences that were the subject of the alleged fraud scheme were located in various Chicago, Illinois suburbs, including Country Club Hills, Flossmoor, Frankfort, Mokena, Woodridge, Elmhurst, Lemont, Orland Park, Addison, Homewood, Naperville and Aurora.

The second indictment alleged that between August 2006 and April 2007, Brown and 12 co-defendants fraudulently obtained approximately 32 home mortgage loans - in this case on homes in Nevada and California, from which they obtained more than $16 million in loan proceeds. The victim lenders incurred losses totaling approximately $7 million on the defaulted loans.

In the Chicago scheme, 14 of the 21 defendants have been sentenced and the sentences ranged from probation to 66 months custody in the Bureau of Prisons. The remaining seven defendants are scheduled for trial in June, 2011. Ten of the 13 defendants have been sentenced in the Nevada scheme, with sentences ranging from 6 - 45 months custody in the Bureau of Prisons. The remaining three defendants in that case have pled guilty and are scheduled to be sentenced at a later date.

The sentence was announced by Patrick J. Fitzgerald, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Illinois; Thomas P. Brady, Inspector-in-Charge of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service; and Robert D. Grant, Special Agent-in-Charge of the Chicago Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The government was represented by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Daniel May and Erica Csicsila.

Pastor indicted in mortgage fraud

Clint Rogers, 37, Scottsdale, Arizona, and Angela Rogers, 31, Scottsdale, a pastor and his wife, as well as Shannon Kato, 40, Sedona, Arizona; Ernest Babbini, 55, Scottsdale; and Drew Hull, 30, Prescott, Arizona, have been indicted for alleged mortgage fraud crimes. Clint Rogers, Angela Rogers, and Shannon Kato have been arrested, and Ernest Babbini and Drew Hull have been served with a summons to appear in federal court.

The defendants are charged for their involvement in multi-million-dollar mortgage fraud conspiracies. Specifically, the defendants fraudulently obtained millions in loans and "cash back" loan proceeds. The defendants are charged with various counts of conspiracy, conspiracy to commit wire fraud, wire fraud, aggravated identity theft, money laundering, and conspiracy to commit transactional money laundering.

The 13-count indictment alleges that the defendants submitted false loan applications to banks and other lending institutions to buy numerous residential properties in a short period of time, lying about the borrowers' income and liabilities in order to get financing of more than $5.5 million. Most of the homes referenced in the indictment are in Scottsdale, Arizona. The indictment also alleges that the defendants profited from the scheme by artificially increasing the sale prices of the properties and then directing portions of the loan proceeds back to themselves for their own personal use, while concealing this information from the lenders. The indictment alleges over $2.5 million in loan proceeds were directed back to the defendants during a single five-month period.

Four charged in Illinois fraud case

Robert Todd McKinney, 42, Belinda Cheri McKinney, 43, John Quinn McKinney, 39, and Chamethele McKinney, 35, were charged in a recently unsealed indictment handed down by a Federal Grand Jury sitting in East St. Louis, Illinois, on February 24, 2011. The alleged violations took place between April, 2000, and December, 2008, in Madison County, Illinois. The arraignment was held on March 11, 2011.

Robert Todd McKinney was indicted for Conspiracy in Count 1, Tax Evasion in Count 2, and Making False Statements in Counts 4, 7, and 8. Belinda Cheri McKinney was charged with Conspiracy in Count 1 and Mortgage Loan Fraud in Count 9. John Quinn McKinney was charged with Conspiracy in Count 1, Tax Evasion in Count 3, and Making False Statements in Counts 5, 6, and 7. Chamethele McKinney was charged with Conspiracy in Count 1, Mortgage Loan Fraud in Count 10, and Making False Statements in Count 11.

According to the court-filed indictment, Robert Todd McKinney and John Quinn McKinney conspired and attempted to evade the payment of taxes by providing false information to IRS revenue officers, ignoring deadlines and notices provided by the Revenue Officers, and lying to Revenue Officers about their ability to pay taxes owed; and concealing assets which would have enabled them to pay the federal taxes assessed and diverting assets that otherwise were available for the payment of taxes.

Chamethele McKinney and Belinda Cheri McKinney joined the conspiracy with their husbands by concealing income, by setting up nominee bank accounts, and by providing false information on mortgage documents.

Trial has been set for May 9, 2011. If convicted of Conspiracy, each defendant faces a term of imprisonment of up to five (5) years, a fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of three (3) years. If convicted of Tax Evasion, each defendant faces a term of imprisonment of up to five (5) years, a fine of $100,000 plus the costs of prosecution, and a term of supervised release of three (3) years. If convicted of Making False Statements, each defendant faces a term of imprisonment of up to five (5) years, a fine of $250,000, and a term of supervised release of three (3) years. If convicted of Mortgage Loan Fraud, each defendant faces a term of imprisonment of up to thirty (30) years, a fine of $1,000,000, and a term of supervised release of five (5) years.

An indictment is a formal charge against a defendant. Under the law, a defendant is presumed to be innocent of a charge until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt to the satisfaction of a jury.

Tuesday, March 1, 2011

Mihai Chetzan si MOX CONSTRUCTION cu musca pe caciula la Chicago

Afaceristul Chetzan nu are datorii doar la Cluj ci si-n Chicago
$56,992 datorie la compania General Motors ca urmare a unei sentinte judecatoresti din iulie 2009; in noiembrie 2009 s-a d
at o citatie pentru ca utilajul/masinile respective daca sunt gasite sa poata fi recuperate/reposedate

- ianuarie 2010 sentinta finala in favoarea Citi Bank pt neplata de catre Ch
etzan a $24,026.00 pe credit card

- din decembrie 2009 este in proces cu American Express pt neplata a
$60,934.02 si alta de $27167.16 la aceeasi companie AE, aceeasi poveste cu Discover Card suma in disputa $6,758.98

-septembrie 2010 sentinta judecatoreasca in favoarea Harris Bank
pt neplata sumei de $18,448.00

- pe 5 mai 2010 Fiscul American IRS-ul a pus federal lien adica sechestru pe ceva proprietati pt neplata a $291,764.00

Autoritatile federale l-a pus sub acuzare pe Michel Chezan impreuna cu alt complice Calvin Early pentru frauda, a carei suma se apropie de aproape de jumatate de milion de dolari.
Gasiti documentul cu numele lui la pagina 47.

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