David Saks: Former Modesto Century 21 Broker Guilty in $7 Million Mortgage 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

Former Modesto Century 21 Broker Guilty in $7 Million Mortgage Fraud

Former Modesto Real Estate Broker Pleads Guilty in $7 Million Mortgage Fraud Scam

U.S. Attorney’s Office October 21, 2013
  • Eastern District of California (916) 554-2700

FRESNO, CA—James Lee Lankford, 74, formerly a Modesto-based real estate broker, pleaded guilty today to seven counts of mail fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scam that looted elderly homeowners and lending institutions of millions of dollars, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced.

Lankford’s husband, Jon Vance Lankford (formerly Jon Vance McDade), 49, also formerly of Modesto, pleaded guilty on September 16, 2013, to one count of bank fraud in connection with the same mortgage fraud scam.

According to his plea agreement, Lankford, who operated

Century 21-Apollo Realty

as a real estate agent and broker, fraudulently induced elderly property owners to sell their homes to him and to provide financing for his purchases.

In return, Lankford agreed to make interest-only payments and to pay the principal amount at a future date.

Lankford fraudulently induced the elderly sellers into believing that their financing was secured by the property itself by filing deeds with the county recorder’s office.

Unbeknownst to the elderly sellers, Lankford also obtained mortgages from lending institutions to finance the purchase of the same properties.

In order to obtain the mortgages, Lankford would not inform the lending institutions that he had obtained seller-backed financing.

Lankford and co-defendant McDade also would make other material misrepresentations on the loan applications and in some instances, submitted falsified documents regarding monthly income to ensure approval for the loans.

During the mortgage closings, Lankford directed that a portion of the money supplied by the lending institutions be released to him or co-defendant McDade rather than go to the elderly sellers for the purchase of the property.

Lankford would then lull the elderly sellers into believing that their sales transactions were proceeding according to the agreement by mailing them monthly interest-only payments and similarly lulled the lending institutions into believing the transactions were legitimate by recording deeds at the county recorder’s office.

Lankford fraudulently induced the lending institutions into believing they had the only lien on the purchased property by withholding from escrow the documents containing the seller financing information and by waiting until after the close of escrow for the conventional mortgage financing to record the sellers’ deed.

In many instances, Lankford then refinanced the properties with another lending institution after filing fraudulent deeds purportedly showing that the elderly property owners had been paid in full.

After fraudulently eliminating the seller’s lien on the property, Lankford would then fraudulently obtain refinancing and draw out any equity that had accumulated in the property.

Lankford, having refinanced the property, and in some instances having obtained additional financing by reselling the property to co-defendant McDade, would then allow the property to go into foreclosure, or would sell it as a short sale.

“James Lee Lankford participated in a fraudulent scheme that preyed on elderly victims and the banking industry, causing millions of dollars in losses to those individuals and to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac,” said Michael P. Stephens, Acting Inspector General for the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of Inspector General (FHFA-OIG). “Such fraudulent behavior will not go undetected, nor will it go unpunished. We will continue to work with our law enforcement partners to dismantle such schemes and hold all involved accountable.”

Lankford admitted in his plea agreement to causing more than $7 million in losses to the elderly property owners, lending institutions, and banks he victimized.

This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the FHFA-OIG, and the Stanislaus County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher Baker and Michael Tierney are prosecuting the case.

Lankford and McDade are scheduled to be sentenced by Senior U.S. District Judge Anthony W. Ishii on January 27, 2014. Lankford faces a maximum statutory penalty of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine for each count of mail fraud. McDade faces a maximum statutory penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine. The actual sentences, however, will be determined at the discretion of the court after consideration of any applicable statutory factors and the Federal Sentencing Guidelines, which take into account a number of variables.

source: FBI


David Saks

Time&Temp Memphis

Legal Disclaimer
Please be advised that:

 The information and notices contained in this blog are intended to summarize recent developments and news. The posts are presented as general research and information. These posts are not intended, nor should be regarded, as legal advice. Some blog posts concern allegations made in civil lawsuits and in criminal indictments in United States Courts. All persons are presumed innocent until convicted of a crime and proven guilty. Readers who have particular questions or who believe that they need legal counsel should seek the advice of a qualified attorney. It is neither the editor's or author's intention to create a confidential relationship or any broker-client relationship via communication from this site at any time. Please consult with your state real estate board if questions & answers in the education section conflict with the laws of your region or if you need clarification regarding their applicability or how they may govern the services that you provide.

By entering this web site, you understand the following:
When you select a link to an outside Web site, you are subject to the privacy, copyright, security, and information quality policies of that Web site. David Saks:
1.DOES NOT control or guarantee the accuracy, legality, relevance, timeliness, or completeness of information contained on a linked Web site;
2.DOES NOT endorse linked Web sites, the views they express, or the products/services they offer unless linked web sites, the views they express, or the products/services they offer endorse or support David Saks in accordance with the standards of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission and the Federal Government's laws regarding commerce and the application, solicitation and transmission of internet-related concerns, commerce or social networking;
3.CANNOT authorize the use of copyrighted materials contained in linked Web sites;
4.IS NOT responsible for transmissions users receive from linked Web sites;
5. That DavidSaks.Com is biographical & real estate related. Some links within will leave this site.
6. http://activerain.com/profile/davidsaks is internet-compliant & abides by the rules & regulations of the Tennessee Real Estate Commission, Eve Maxwell, Executive Director.
7. Unless indicated otherwise, ActiveRain does offer listings, or IDX and is provided for licensed salespersons, brokers, buyers & sellers of real property as a community & professional service.
8. David Saks is a retired / licensed real estate broker in the State of Tennessee, license #290452, and an independent contractor.
9. Information is believed to be accurate, but not guaranteed, at any realty link or document connected to the World Wide Web & viewable by anyone connected to the internet who has a web browser.
10. Brokers, buyers, sellers, agents & anyone should independently verify any information prior to submitting any offer to purchase goods & services from any link.
11. Please Visit The American Real Estate Alliance or Memphis.8k.Com for additional information regarding property issues for real estate professionals and consumers.


Photos © & Licensed by Nova Development

All Content Protected © 
Before you even think about
committing a real estate crime
click this red button.
Real Estate Crimes

© All Rights Reserved.





"Information generated by the Department of Justice is in the public domain and may be reproduced, published or otherwise used without the Department’s permission. Citation to the Department of Justice as the source of the information is appreciated, as appropriate."

Department of Justice Legal Policies


  Real Estate Crimes


Click "HERE" For Today's Question



TheListen Now!

David Saks Show

Saturday Nite

9pm-12am Central

University of Memphis



America's Hobby

Click Elvis

Mr.Saks' participation in ActiveRain ended April 13, 2015.

His blog archives will remain online.

May God bless you.

Comment balloon 0 commentsDavid Saks • October 22 2013 01:11PM


This blog does not allow anonymous comments