E.D. Tex.

Texas: Collin County’s Mortgage Fraud Squad and ‘Operation Stolen Dreams’

We will use every tool available to investigate, prosecute, and prevent mortgage fraud, and we will not rest until anyone preying on vulnerable American homeowners is brought to justice.

Mortgage Fraud – Collin County, Texas

NO DATE ON ARTICLE | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: MAY 10, 2021

Mortgage fraud has fast become a financial crime with a reputation for yielding high payoffs with relatively small risks of criminals being tracked down and brought to justice for bilking mortgage lenders.

Not for long – at least in Collin County.

District Attorney John Roach’s Special Crimes Division (SCD) has teamed up with local police departments to investigate and prosecute those who profit from this kind of fraud.

In early November, prosecutor Christopher Lee Milner joined Dr. Gary Lacefield of W.R. Starkey Mortgage in Plano to show more than 40 local law enforcement officers how to investigate, document and bring mortgage fraud cases to the grand jury – and get convictions.

In fact, the day-long seminar drew more than detectives from Collin County city police departments, with investigators and prosecutors from north Texas, Oklahoma and the Texas Attorney General’s Office attending.

Mortgage fraud has grown to such a level in the last decade that industry officials estimate that 85 percent of home foreclosures can be linked to some form of mortgage fraud.

While mortgage fraud can be complex and sometimes involves conspiracies linking any number of buyers, sellers and lending industry professionals connected to financial transactions, Milner’s and Lacefield’s approach to making investigations is simple and direct.

“Our idea was to show how to pick the low-hanging fruit from a mortgage fraud scheme,” Milner says. “Normally, you could spend months and months pouring over reams of paper in a single mortgage transaction to draw in every single person who may have had some role in the crime. We showed police how to document the fraud and get to the most obvious culprits as quickly and thoroughly as possible.”

The idea is to broaden the number of eyes looking for mortgage fraud, show police the fastest route to making solid cases that will stand up in court – and send the message to crooks that someone’s going to be looking a little closer at the paper trail.

“By working together, we boiled all that’s involved in a mortgage fraud scheme down to a simple case of theft,” Dr. Lacefield says. “And to prove the crime, we showed investigators how to use the very same paper trail created by these ‘bad actors’ to pull off the scheme.”

Dr. Lacefield says W.R. Starkey worked closely with the Collin County DA because it was the first local prosecutor’s office to offer to help slow the spread of mortgage fraud in this corner of North Texas.

The DA’s Office has been prosecuting mortgage fraud in Collin County district courts since Spring 2005, and Collin County Commissioners recently beefed-up Milner’s SCD with additional staff to help investigate and prosecute expected mortgage fraud caseload increases in the coming year.

The Big Question is Asked of The Court of Appeals for the Eleventh Circuit

The scope of judicial immunity in the Eleventh Circuit is now made clear. Judicial immunity is complete, unqualified, and without exception.

Fifth Circuit ClerkGate Corruption Scandal Tracker: ECF Filing Permissions

Gov Abbott has declared a state of disaster in the State of Texas in response to the imminent threat of the COVID-19 pandemic.

Another Criminal Whiteout Opinion from the Fifth Circuit Re Threats to a Texas Judge and a Denied Recusal

Lewis’s mother threatened a Texas judge where she admitted to knowing where the Judge kept his gun. She was a housekeeper at his courthouse.

Collin County Man Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

PLANO, Texas – A 50-year-old Plano, Texas man has been sentenced to federal prison for violations in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown today.

OCT 17, 2018 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: MAY 10, 2021

James Gerard Temme pleaded guilty on Oct. 11, 2017, to wire fraud and was sentenced to 78 months in federal prison on Oct. 16, 2018 by U.S. District Judge Marcia A. Crone.

Temme was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $2,933,667.48.

According to information presented in court, in 2011, Temme engaged in wire fraud by inducing individuals to invest in a package of mortgages, misrepresenting that he had the ability to sell the package to the investors.

Temme provided a forged signature to induce the investment, eventually receiving over $3 million from the investors, when in fact he never actually sold the package of mortgages to the investors.

Temme was indicted by a federal grand jury on Sep. 21, 2016 and charged with federal violations.

“White collar theft often hurts victims just as much as thefts that happen with a gun,”

said U.S. Attorney Joseph D. Brown.

“This was a lot of money.  I am proud of the FBI investigators for pursuing it aggressively, and a prison sentence was wholly justified in this case.”

“Mr. Temme, knowingly acted in an unscrupulous and reckless manner to entice many innocent people into making investments that were unsound,” said Eric K. Jackson, FBI Special Agent in Charge of the Dallas Division.

“Economic fraud is becoming common place, but we will continue to target the offenders and bring the appropriate charges, while protecting the citizens’ rights to fair and trustworthy services.”

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and prosecuted by the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Eastern District of Texas.

Collin County Man Sentenced In Mortgage Fraud Scheme

MAR 19, 2014 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: MAY 10, 2021

SHERMAN, Texas – A 43-year-old Plano, Texas man has been sentenced for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Anthony Glen Jones pleaded guilty on Oct. 23, 2013 to bank fraud in connection with a FHA insured home loan and was sentenced to 27 months in federal prison today by U.S. District Judge Thad Heartfield.

Jones was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $348,918.44 and submit to forfeiture of $152,795.83.

According to court documents, in October 2007, Jones devised and executed a scheme to defraud Prime Lending, a subsidiary of Plains Capital Bank, a federally insured bank.

To execute the scheme, Jones used another person’s identity without their knowledge or consent to sell property located at 1626 Lipscomb Street in Fort Worth, twice within one week.

With respect to the second transaction, Jones caused a fraudulent loan application package to be submitted to Prime Lending while failing to notify Prime Lending that he had already sold the same property.

As a result Prime Lending funded a loan of $184,300 for the second transaction.

Jones fraudulently gained $152,795.83 from this criminal conduct and caused a loss to lending institutions of about $456,601.68.  Jones was indicted by a federal grand jury on Mar. 13, 2013.

####

This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.

The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources.

The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

The case was investigated by the U.S. Secret Service and the Federal Housing Finance Agency-Office of Inspector General.  The case was prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher A. Eason and Andy Williams.

Former Texas Lawyer Scott Scher May Have An Ally In Mind Once He Reads This

As the Scher family face foreclosure, could Isaac Nesser, the Quinn Emanuel partner who prevailed in 100 toxic loan cases, aid his appeal?

Who Sayeth Ally At the Fifth Circuit? LIT Was Just Talkin’ Predatory Lending Harvesting Billions for….

Today, Ally’s CEO claims it has leading market positions in its core franchises and one of the strongest balance sheets in the industry.

Goldman Sachs Owns the U.S. Supreme Court And That’s Not Good For Freedom, Liberty and Property Rights

The SCOTUS plaintiffs accused Goldman Sachs of unlawfully hiding conflicts of interest when creating risky subprime securities.

Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force Announces Results of “Operation Stolen Dreams” in Eastern District of Texas

JUN 17, 2010 | REPUBLISHED BY LIT: MAY 10, 2021

PLANO, TX—Following an announcement today by Attorney General Eric Holder in Washington, DC, representatives of the Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force in Plano, Texas, including U.S. Attorney John M. Bales, announced the regional results of the nationwide takedown, Operation Stolen Dreams, which targeted mortgage fraudsters in the Eastern District of Texas and throughout the country and is the largest collective enforcement effort ever brought to bear in confronting mortgage fraud.

George M. Baehr, Jr., 35, of Dallas, pleaded guilty to an Information on June 16, 2010, charging him with mail fraud. Baehr entered his plea before U.S. Magistrate Judge Don Bush.

According to court documents, from July 2006 to November 2006, Baehr, a loan officer, devised a scheme to defraud mortgage lenders by submitting false information to secure mortgage loans for real estate purchases. Baehr was a loan officer for either Meridias Capital, Inc. or for City Mortgage Holding, L.L.C., during this time.

If convicted, Baehr faces up to 20 years in federal prison.

The sweep was organized by President Obama’s interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established to lead an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. Starting on March 1, to date Operation Stolen Dreams has involved 1,215 criminal defendants nationwide, including 485 arrests, who are allegedly responsible for more than $2.3 billion in losses. Additionally, to date the operation has resulted in 191 civil enforcement actions which have resulted in the recovery of more than $147 million.

“Mortgage fraud ruins lives, destroys families and devastates whole communities, so attacking the problem from every possible direction is vital,”

said Attorney General Holder.

“We will use every tool available to investigate, prosecute, and prevent mortgage fraud, and we will not rest until anyone preying on vulnerable American homeowners is brought to justice.”

Unlike previous mortgage fraud sweeps, Operation Stolen Dreams focused not only on federal criminal cases, but also on civil enforcement, recovering money for victims and increasing cooperation with state and local partners.

The President’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources.

The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

For more information on the task force, visit StopFraud.gov.

This case is being investigated by the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney J. Andrew Williams.

Other Operation Stolen Dreams cases in the Eastern District of Texas include:

United States vs. John Barry, et. al

A 16-count indictment was returned by a federal grand jury on Mar. 10, 2010, charging 40 defendants from Texas, Florida, Massachusetts, Tennessee, and Georgia with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud and money laundering.

According to the indictment, beginning in 2004, John Barry, 41, of Windemere, Florida, owned and operated, TKI Group, Inc. and JAB Consulting, businesses out of Florida through which he solicited real estate agents, property finders, mortgage brokers, title company attorneys or escrow officers, property appraisers, and straw buyers to facilitate this scheme.

The purpose of the scheme was to defraud lending institutions by convincing them to approve mortgage loans for residential properties for which the property values had been fraudulently inflated.

The indictment specifically lists 114 residential properties located in the Texas cities of Allen, Arlington, Cedar Hill, Coppell, Corinth, Cypress, Dallas, Flower Mound, Fort Worth, Frisco, Granbury, Heath, Highland Village, Houston, Keller, Lantana, Lewisville, Little Elm, Lubbock, Magnolia, McKinney, Plano, Roanoke, Southlake, Spring, The Woodlands, and Willis.

United States vs. Esshan Samuel Agha

Esshan Samuel “Sam” Agha pleaded guilty on Oct. 19, 2009, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and was sentenced to 51 months in federal prison on Apr. 1, 2010. Agha was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4,127,131.50.

According to information presented in court, from Oct. 2005 to Feb. 2008, Agha, a real estate investor, devised a scheme in which he solicited others to buy homes that in most cases were in fact owned by himself or an unnamed co-conspirator.

A smaller number of homes were also owned by a third party for whom Agha brokered the sales.

Agha facilitated the scheme by making false statements that included misrepresentations such as overstating the buyers’ income and stating that the buyers intended to occupy the homes as their primary residence.

All of the loans involved in the scheme went into default when the buyers failed to make the mortgage payments on the homes, which included 24 properties in Collin County and one in Tarrant County.

United States vs. Micaiah Pruitt, Jeanelle Richardson, Pierre Sowell and Reginald Davis

Micaiah Pruitt pleaded guilty on Sep. 30, 2009, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and was sentenced to 71 months in federal prison on Mar. 18, 2010. Pruitt was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,384,015.26. Pruitt had been indicted by a federal grand jury on June 11, 2009.

According to information presented in court, from March 2005 to October 2006, Pruitt orchestrated a mortgage fraud scheme in which three individuals, Jeanelle Richardson, Pierre Sowell, and Reginald Davis, each bought two or more residential properties from Pruitt, or from someone for whom Pruitt was brokering the sale.

In order to obtain the mortgage loans to make the purchases, Pruitt assisted Richardson, Sowell and Davis in making false statements in the mortgage loan applications, such as overstating income or representing that the borrowers intended to occupy each home as their primary residence.

Pruitt profited from each of the sales and paid the three purchasers for making the purchases. The purchasers defaulted on all of the mortgage loans.

Richardson, 37, of Plano, Texas, pleaded guilty on May, 20, 2009, to conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud and was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison in Feb. 2010. She was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $468,838.

Richardson had been indicted by a federal grand jury on Apr. 6, 2009.

Sowell, 37, of Grand Prairie, Texas, pleaded guilty on Aug. 13, 2009, to an information charging him with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison in Feb. 2010.

Sowell was ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $605,627.

Davis was indicted by a federal grand jury on Apr. 6, 2009, and charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud and wire fraud. He pleaded guilty on July 9, 2009, and was sentenced in Jan. 2010 to 6 months in federal prison to be followed by 6 months’ home confinement.

Davis was also ordered to pay restitution.

This content has been reproduced from its original source.

Texas: Collin County’s Mortgage Fraud Squad and ‘Operation Stolen Dreams’
Click to comment

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

Laws In Texas is a blog about the Financial Crisis and how the banks and government are colluding against the citizens and homeowners of the State of Texas and relying on a system of #FakeDocs and post-crisis legal precedents, specially created by the Court of Appeals for the Fifth Circuit to foreclose on homeowners around this great State. We are not lawyers. We do not offer legal advice. We are citizens of the State of Texas who have spent a decade in the court system in Texas and have been party to during this period to the good, the bad and the very ugly.

Donate to LawsInTexas. Make a Difference.

Subscribe to Our Newsletter

We keep your data private and share your data only with third parties that make this service possible. See our Privacy Policy for more information.

© 2020-21 LawInTexas com is an online trading name which is wholly owned by Blogger Inc., a nonprofit 501(c)(3) registered in Delaware. | All Rights Reserved.

To Top