10 Charged in $10M Mortgage Fraud Scam
Stacey Jones, Dana Merritt, a.k.a., Dana Hayden, Abigail Gonzalez, Leticia Miffleton, Sharlo Burris, Kendrick Green, Johnese Zeigler, Andre Simon, Gordon Simon, and Catherine Wheeler have been charged in an 18-count indictment in federal court in San Diego with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, conspiracy to commit money laundering, and money laundering in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme which resulted in lenders funding over $10,000,000 in mortgage loans.
The indictment was handed up by a federal grand jury on April 3, 2012.
According to the indictment, Jones, Merritt, and Gonzalez operated two companies. The first was Advanced Partnership Properties, was a mortgage processing center located at 8575 Los Coches Road, El Cajon, California. The second was BYW Construction, a.k.a. BYW Inc., a.k.a. BYW was also located in El Cajon.
The indictment charges that Jones, Merritt, and Gonzalez processed fraudulent loan applications for Miffleton, Burris, Green, Andre Simon, Gordon Simon, Zeigler, and Wheeler to purchase multiple properties located within the Southern District of California and elsewhere. Specifically, the defendants submitted applications which misrepresented the borrower's intention to occupy the property, place of employment, income, and assets, so they could qualify for mortgage funding on each of the properties.
The defendants also submitted false documents in support of the applications.
According to the indictment, the defendants and their co-conspirators would then divert tens of thousands of dollars per transaction from the loan proceeds to BYW's bank accounts using false claims for unsecured loans, liens, and notes on construction work that was never performed. After funneling the payments to BYW's bank accounts, the defendants caused the funds to be withdrawn or transferred to their own bank accounts for their own benefit and to further the scheme.
During the court proceedings, Magistrate Judge McCurine set bail for Merritt in the amount of $50,000.
Most of the remaining co-defendants are scheduled to be arraigned on April 19, 2012, before Magistrate Judge McCurine. After being arraigned, the defendants will next appear before United States District Chief Judge Barry Ted Moskowitz for a motion hearing on May 18, 2012, at 2:00 p.m.
This case is the product of a nationwide investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and Internal Revenue Service, Criminal Investigation Division. The investigation involved offices in San Diego, California; Los Angeles, California; Tucson, Arizona; Fort Worth, Texas; New York; and West Virginia.
United States Attorney Laura E. Duffy announced the indictment.
An indictment itself is not evidence that the defendants committed the crimes charged. The defendants are presumed innocent until the Government meets its burden in court of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.
source: Mortgage Ftraud Blog