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Mortgage Fraud

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BUSINESS
March 17, 2009 | By Alan J. Heavens, Inquirer Real Estate Writer
Incidents of mortgage fraud rose 26 percent nationally in 2008 over 2007 even as the number of home-loan originations dropped, the Mortgage Asset Research Institute reported yesterday. The foreclosure epidemic helped boost the numbers as scammers sought to take advantage of borrowers trying to save their homes, said Denise James, an author of the annual report, presented at a Mortgage Bankers Association meeting in Washington. "Mortgage fraud was once primarily a crime of opportunity," James said in a conference call.
NEWS
February 1, 1986 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
A week after federal prosecutors indicted three of his real estate colleagues on mortgage-fraud charges in Camden, a cooperating witness in the federal probe pleaded guilty yesterday to charges of falsifying mortgage documents. Patrick String, 45, was named as an unindicted co-conspirator in the Jan. 23 grand jury indictment against mortgage-company executive James A. Smedley, 56, of Broomall; his son James A. Smedley Jr., 26, of West Chester, and Ronald Rudomin, 38, a Mount Laurel accountant.
NEWS
December 2, 2011 | ASSOCIATED PRESS
MASSACHUSETTS sued five major banks yesterday over deceptive foreclosure practices such as the "robo-signing" of documents, potentially undermining negotiations between lenders and state prosecutors across the nation over the same issue. The lawsuit named Bank of America Corp., JPMorgan Chase & Co., Wells Fargo & Co., Citigroup Inc., and GMAC. It was filed in Massachusetts by Attorney General Martha Coakley. "We have two clear goals with this lawsuit - one is to provide for real accountability for the role the banks have played in unlawful and illegal foreclosures, and secondly to provide for real and enforceable relief for the harm that the misconduct has caused," she said.
NEWS
August 9, 1990 | By Joseph A. Slobodzian, Inquirer Staff Writer
Four Delaware County real estate brokers have been charged with participating in a mortgage fraud scheme that federal prosecutors say cost the government more than $1 million by improperly qualifying people for government-insured mortgages. The four brokers were all former employees of New Frontiers Real Estate Co. during 1984 to 1987, a period when, according to prosecutors, the Upland company was involved with about 100 property sales involving fraudulently obtained mortgages in the impoverished city of Chester or its surrounding communities.
REAL_ESTATE
May 9, 2010 | By Al Heavens, Inquirer Columnist
With fewer loans being made, you'd think mortgage fraud would be virtually nonexistent. Yet recent data from the Lexis-Nexis Mortgage Asset Research Institute in Chicago show that the incidence of fraud in 2009 increased 7 percentage points over 2008's levels. In 2008, fraud reports rose 26 percentage points from the previous year. The institute collects and provides data - suspicious-activities reports, or SARS - to subscribers, including mortgage lenders. If you want to compare numbers, there were 67,190 such reports collected in 2009, compared with 63,713 in 2008, and 46,717 in 2007.
NEWS
March 28, 1986 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
Two men pleaded guilty yesterday to defrauding the government by taking part in the massive South Jersey mortgage-fraud scam that has been the focus of a two-year federal investigation. Anthony Gariano, 37, of Camden, and Donald Ehret, 35, of Collingswood, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Stanley S. Brotman in Camden. In the fraud scam, unscrupulous real estate sales representatives and mortgage-company officials in Camden and Willingboro used false employment records and tax returns to make financially unqualified buyers appear to be middle-class wage earners who could afford monthly payments for homes paid with government-guaranteed mortgages.
NEWS
August 16, 1986 | By Jane M. Von Bergen, Inquirer Staff Writer
As he handed out prison sentences yesterday to three more men convicted in South Jersey's series of mortgage fraud cases, a federal judge in Camden used the occasion to credit the cases with sending Washington a message about widespread fraud involving mortgages backed by the Department of Housing and Urban Development. "The court is satisfied its voice is being heard across the country and in Washington," U.S. District Judge Stanley S. Brotman said yesterday, citing the spread of investigations to 30 cities and Sunday's announcement by Samuel R. Pierce Jr., secretary of HUD, of policy changes designed to curb the fraud.
REAL_ESTATE
September 17, 1989 | By H. Jane Lehman, Special to The Inquirer
The country's two largest investors in home loans are stepping up efforts to detect fraudulently obtained mortgages. The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac) is assembling a special fraud-investigation unit at its Reston, Va., headquarters. The Washington- based Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) began installing a fraud-detection database this month in its five regional offices, in Philadelphia, Atlanta, Chicago, Dallas and Los Angeles. The two mortgage investors, which together purchase one in four American mortgages, denied that an increase in the incidence of single-family mortgage fraud had prompted the new security measures.
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NEWS
January 9, 2014
TWO PROMINENT Italians have recently weighed in on Wall Street excess. One is Martin Scorsese, whose "Wolf of Wall Street" is the debauched bio of a crooked and high-living broker. The movie's a hit with critics, and traders have been howling in approval at Manhattan screenings. These same Wall Streeters have been less receptive to criticism offered by another Italian (by profession, if not birth): Pope Francis. His "Evangeli Gaudium" denounced "the absolute autonomy of the marketplace and financial speculation," and questioned the efficacy of trickle-down economic theories.
NEWS
September 19, 2013 | By Robert Moran, Inquirer Staff Writer
The wife of convicted mobster Nicodemo S. Scarfo pleaded guilty Tuesday in federal court to conspiracy related to mortgage fraud that hid her then-fiance's involvement in the purchase of a house in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Lisa Marie Scarfo, 34, of Elmer, N.J., admitted that she participated in a January 2008 scheme with her husband and others to obtain a $500,000 mortgage from St. Edmonds Federal Savings Bank. Lisa Scarfo, also known as Lisa Murray-Scarfo, signed a fake tax return exaggerating her income.
NEWS
September 19, 2013 | BY SOLOMON LEACH, Daily News Staff Writer leachs@phillynews.com, 215-854-5903
THE WIFE OF a reputed New Jersey mob figure pleaded guilty yesterday to conspiring to defraud a mortgage lender in order to buy a $715,000 house in Egg Harbor Township, N.J. Lisa Marie Scarfo, 34, of Elmer, N.J. - daughter-in-law of jailed mob figure Nicodemo "Little Nicky" Scarfo and wife of Nicodemo S. Scarfo Jr., an alleged member of the Lucchese La Cosa Nostra (LCN) crime family - entered the plea before U.S. District Judge Robert B. Kugler in Camden. According to documents filed in this case and statements made in court: In November 2011, Lisa Marie Scarfo and 12 others, including her husband and Salvatore Pelullo - an alleged associate of the Lucchese and Philadelphia La Cosa Nostra crime families - were charged in a 25-count indictment accusing them of targeting FirstPlus Financial Group (FPFG)
NEWS
July 10, 2013
A NUMBER OF surveys have indicated that many people don't have adequate savings to cover a financial emergency. One, conducted by the National Foundation for Credit Counseling, found that 17 percent of Americans said that if they needed $1,000 for an unplanned expense, they would have to borrow it from friends or family. I've been asking readers to share their experiences of mixing family and finances. Following is one such story about a family financial fight that yet again proves what Shakespeare wrote in "Hamlet": "Neither a borrower nor a lender be, for loan oft loses both itself and friend.
NEWS
April 11, 2013
A Williamstown man was accused of defrauding mortgage lenders and the government by acting as a straw buyer in a multimillion-dollar mortgage fraud conspiracy involving $20 million in loans and 100 houses, most of them in Philadelphia, the U.S. Attorney's office in Philadelphia said Tuesday. According to federal documents, Mark Murphy, 47, allowed his identity to be used, along with false information about him, including false pay records, to qualify and receive a $324,000 loan on a West Philadelphia property.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Mari A. Schaefer, INQUIRER STAFF WRITER
A Montgomery County man has been indicted in a "massive" mortgage fraud conspiracy involving more than $20 million in loans, federal officials said today. Willie G. Manley, 62 of Lansdale, a self-employed accountant, allegedly fake documents including W-2 forms and paystubs, to procure loans. At the center of investigation was a Philadelphia company known as KREW Settlement Services in Philadelphia, officials said. The scheme, which operated between May 2004 and February 2009, involved more than 100 properties, most of them in West Philadelphia, and over $20 million in loans, according to court documents.
NEWS
January 25, 2013 | By Mari A. Schaefer, Inquirer Staff Writer
A Montgomery County man has been indicted in what federal authorities on Thursday termed a massive mortgage-fraud conspiracy involving more than $20 million. Willie G. Manley, 62, of Lansdale, a self-employed accountant, allegedly created fake documents including W-2 forms and pay stubs that he sent to banks to procure mortgages. At the center of investigation was a Philadelphia company, KREW Settlement Services, officials said. The alleged scheme, which operated between May 2004 and February 2009, involved more than 100 properties, most of them in West Philadelphia, and more than $20 million in loans, according to court documents.
BUSINESS
October 10, 2012
IN THE REGION Walmart testing same-day delivery Wal-Mart Stores Inc. is testing a same-day delivery service in select markets, including Philadelphia, for customers who buy popular items online during the holiday shopping season. The Bentonville, Ark.-based discounter is trying to cater to Web-savvy shoppers who are demanding more convenience. Walmart's tests started this month in Philadelphia and northern Virginia. The program rolled out to Minneapolis on Tuesday. Walmart plans to test the service in San Francisco and San Jose, Calif., later this month or in early November.
BUSINESS
October 3, 2012 | By Harold Brubaker, Inquirer Staff Writer
For Karlene Cheesman, Raymond Oesterle, Kevin Michael, and Cynthia Thorne, the 25-year prison term given Monday to Anthony J. DeMarco 3d for massive mortgage fraud was almost meaningless next to their losses. At DeMarco's sentencing hearing in federal court in Philadelphia, each attributed the death of a parent to the devastation their families felt after losing their houses to DeMarco's scam, which was sold to victims as a foreclosure-rescue program. "She gave up the will to live when this came to light," Cheesman said of her mother, Gloria Cheesman.
NEWS
October 2, 2012
LAST WEEK, fed-up Americans erupted in several days of national rage that shook the pillars of power and resulted in real reform. Take that . . . NFL. The tipping point: a botched call during "Monday Night Football" that exposed the lunacy of using rinky-dink refs to officiate pro ball. Blowback led the usually obstinate NFL to blink, cave and hire back its striking officials - now universally recognized as irreplaceable regulators of the game. The NFL's capitulation followed a public apology to fans by Packers QB Aaron Rodgers, wherein he noted that a "billion-dollar" enterprise like the NFL is much too important to trust to a bunch of part-timers.
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