David Saks: Agent Pleads Guilty to Short Sale Fraud

David Saks - Real Estate Broker - The Real Estate Mart of Tennessee, Inc. - 4040 North Watkins-Suite #4 - Memphis, Tennessee 38127 - Phone (901) 357-4663

Agent Pleads Guilty to Short Sale Fraud

Agent Pleads Guilty to Short Sale Fraud

Anna McElaney, 38, Norwalk, Connecticut, a licensed real estate agent, has pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud stemming from her involvement in a "short sale" mortgage fraud scheme.

According to court documents and statements made in court, McElaney worked with Sergio Natera, also a real estate agent, to defraud Regions Bank, which held two mortgages on a residential property in Bridgeport, Connecticut. On December 5, 2007, McElaney who was a listing agent for the property, received an offer to purchase the property for a price of $132,500. However, McElaney and Natera subsequently directed communications to Regions Bank that the highest offer to purchase the property was for $102,375 by BOS Asset Management, LLC, an entity that Natera controlled. The bank agreed to a short sale of the property for the lower price, and released its mortgages on the property.

On June 9, 2008, Natera, through BOS Asset Management, sold the property for $132,500 to the original bidder on the property, and Natera and McElaney  retained the difference in the two sale prices.

McElaney is scheduled to be sentenced by United States District Judge Janet C. Hall on May 10, 2010, at which time she faces a maximum term of imprisonment of 30 years, a fine of up to $1 million, and an order of restitution.

Natera pleaded guilty to one count of bank fraud on February 11, 2010. He awaits sentencing.

This matter is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Ann M. Nevins.

-Mortgage Fraud Blog-

David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

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Comment balloon 12 commentsDavid Saks • June 07 2010 11:16AM


There was a non-Realtor company promoting this scheme to Realtors in my area.  When I read what the guy was proposing, I stayed away from it.  Now that I see this, I am glad I did!  Very sad.

Posted by Michael Delaware, REALTOR®, CRS, GRI (North Sky Realty LLC) over 10 years ago

Given the havoc these people have caused in our market I hope the sentence is stiff. Thanks for the post

Posted by Charlie Ragonesi, Homes - Big Canoe, Jasper, North Georgia Pros (AllMountainRealty.com) over 10 years ago

How sad for everyone.  The sellers were hurt, the bank, our reputation as Realtors...  I hope they lock up the bad guys for a good long time.  Unlikely. 

Posted by Marcie Sandalow, Bethesda Chevy Chase DC real estate (Marcie Sandalow, Compass 301.758.4894 ) over 10 years ago

Wow... I wonder how much of this crap really goes on... What a shame...

Posted by Vienna Bello, Real Estate Sales, Rentals & Consulting, GRI, SFR (Liberty Realty, LLC) over 10 years ago

Wow, that is sad and discouraging for Realtors.  We need rewards for the honest, hardworking agents and punishments for the not-so-hardworking-or-ethical ones.  Thanks for sharing though, I hadn't heard about this situation.

Posted by Jenn Neumann Deer, Surfside Beach Real Estate (RE/MAX Southern Shores) over 10 years ago

Michael - Many fine communities are fallen prey to fraud of this nature. It's alarming that this crime was carried out with such simplicity.

Agreed, Charlie. The sad reality of any honorable profession is the existence of those within it's ranks determined to undermine it's integrity.

Yes, Marcie. Such criminal actions invalidate the moral soundness of our purpose.

Vienna, I encourage you to subscribe to Mortgage Fraud Blog. It's dismaying.

Correct, Jenn. As colleagues, the biotic fabric of our community is penalized with any fraudulent misrepresentation  or inappropriate behavior unbecoming a member of our profession, We are equally rewarded with every integrity-minded action as the character and spirit of our social order is elevated.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) about 10 years ago

These kinds of cases sicken me.  I absolutely hate hearing about scam artists working in and around our industry.  People read these things and feel as though everyone is trying to rip them off.  It is one of the communications issues we face when meeting prospects that we should be mindful of, what is their feeling about working with a professional?

Posted by Larry Lawfer, "I listen for a living." It's all about you. (YourStories Realty Group powered by Castles Unlimited®) about 10 years ago

Fraud is fraud and hopefully they throw the book at them to set an example.  As Realtors we are binded to uphold ethics and this clearly was a direct case of fraud.  Sad when our reputations have taken such a hit, guess it once again shows there as always gonna be bad apples.  Hopefully the good apples continue to remember ethics

Posted by Lori Bowers, The Lori Bowers Group almost 10 years ago

Yeah, they're nasty, Larry.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 10 years ago

They're filthy, Lori. Once in a while a cockroach sneaks under the door, as in this case.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) almost 10 years ago

We reward "good behavior" of Buyer Agents who have Buyers who purchase our short sale listings.  "Bad behavior" is .... "discouraged".

Posted by Tony and Suzanne Marriott, Associate Brokers, Haven Express @ Keller Williams Arizona Realty (Serving the Greater Phoenix and Scottsdale Metropolitan Area) over 9 years ago

If it isn't, Tony and Suzanne, then we might as well all being living in Dodge City carrying Winchesters.

Posted by David Saks ((retired)) over 9 years ago

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