News on mortgage fraud is reported by media outlets across the United States every day. Secure Settlements stays abreast of what is being reported.

Real Estate Attorney Steals Closing Funds – Harms Lenders and Consumers

April 4, 2013 - North Castle, New York:  Kevin Hymes pled guilty on two counts of Grand Larceny in the Second Degree, class C Felonies, two counts of Grand Larceny in the Third Degree, class D Felonies, one count of Scheme to Defraud in the First Degree, a class E Felony, relating to the theft of approximately $2,000,000.


Attorney Indicted for Role in Real Estate Investment Fraud

March 20, 2013 – Trappe, Maryland: Aaron G. Seltzerm has been indicted on nine counts of wire fraud in association with a scheme where he converted monies intended for real estate investments for his own personal use.


Lawyer Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud Scheme

March 14, 2013 – Plainview, NY: Neal Sultzer, an attorney, has been sentenced to two years in prison for his role in a conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud in association with a $66 million mortgage fraud scheme involving over 100 residential mortgage loans for properties in the New York City, Westchester County, Dutchess County, and Long Island.


Escrow Officer Charged in 83 Million Las Vegas Straw Buyer Scam

March 8, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV: Derrick Phelps of Katy, Texas, who owned and operated two mortgage lending businesses in the Las Vegas area, Cynthia Phelps, his wife, and Linda Mack, of North Las Vegas, Nevada, who operated as the escrow officer, were indicted by a federal grand jury on conspiracy and bank fraud charges in relation to an $83 million mortgage fraud scheme.


President of Title Insurance Agency Sentenced for Fraud

February 22, 2013 – Winter Park, FL:  In connection with a guilty plea on November 27, 2012, Douglas Wayne Bartle, III, aka Ridgley Douglas Bartle, III and Douglas Wayne Bartle, Jr. was sentenced to 20 months in federal prison for wire fraud. The court also ordered Bartle to pay $862,770.12 in restitution.  


Title Agent Convicted for Role in Reverse Mortgage Scheme

February 5, 2013 – Miami, FL: A Miami title agent was found guilty for her role in a reverse mortgage fraud scheme in connection with a loan worth more than $400,000.


After a six-day jury trial, a federal jury convicted Yesenia Pouparina on four counts of wire fraud and one count of mail fraud for her role in securing a fraudulent Home Equity Conversion Mortgage and making false representations related to the occupancy of the property and its subsequent short sale. 

Fake Title Companies Used as Part of a 10M Mortgage Fraud Scheme

January 29, 2013 – Newark, NJ: Nine people involved in a long-running, large-scale mortgage fraud scheme that caused losses of approximately $10 million were charged in two complaints with conspiracy to commit bank fraud. 


Pennsylvania Lawyer Pleads Guilty to 1.7M Mortgage Fraud Scheme

January 28, 2013 – Plum, PA: Lisa Gerideau-Williams, a Plum attorney has pleaded guilty to operating a complex, $1.7 million fraud scheme. Gerideau-Williams has pleaded guilty to 16 counts that included wire fraud, filing false income tax returns and not filing tax returns at all.


Title Agent Sentenced for Falsifying Settlement Statements

January 23, 2013 - Miami-Dade County, Florida: Raquel DeJesus Martinez, a former title agent, was sentenced Monday to 24 months in prison, to be followed by three years of supervised release, in connection with a scheme to commit mortgage fraud at The Jade apartment complex on Brickell Bay Drive in Miami. Martinez has also been ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $4.94 million.


Nevada Attorney Pleads Guilty to Straw Buyer Scam

January 14, 2013 – Las Vegas, NV:  Gerry Zobrist, a Nevada attorney who has previously served as a pro tem justice of the peace in Las Vegas Justice Court, now faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for his role in a straw buyer scam. According to reports, between 2006 and 2008, Zobrist and his accomplices recruited and paid straw buyers to purchase 144 homes by obtaining fraudulent mortgages from lenders totaling more than $53 million.



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