Employees of ""Lender Processing Services"":www.lpsvcs.com/ are under examination from the ""Nevada attorney general"":ag.state.nv.us/ for issues encompassing specific incidents with the company's document processing and practices. The state's attorney general recently indicted two mid-level personnel within LPS on 606 counts of fraud, alleging that the two forged signatures and notarization on mortgage-related paperwork.[IMAGE]
Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, both identified as title officers for LPS, are facing felony and gross misdemeanor charges as a result of the attorney general's inquiries, and bail for the pair has been set at $500,000 apiece. The charges against the LPS employees represents the first criminal indictment in Nevada since the 2010 initiation of a nationwide probe into robo-signing crimes.
Prior to the criminal filings, LPS had disclosed that it was conducting an internal review of the signature and notary processes used for foreclosure documents. In a company statement, LPS noted, ""Based on the company's reviews, LPS acknowledges the signing procedures on some of these documents were flawed; however, the company also believes[COLUMN_BREAK]
these documents were properly authorized and their recording did not result in a wrongful foreclosure.""
LPS went on to state ""its willingness to fully cooperate with the investigation."" The fraudulent activities under investigation stem from notices of default and deeds of trust on record in Clark County, Nevada, from 2005 to 2008, and according to information released by the Nevada attorney general's office earlier in the month, LPS, the company, is not a target of the inquiry.
Commenting on the filings, the state's chief deputy attorney general, John Kelleher, said, ""The grand jury found probable cause that there was a robo-signing scheme which resulted in the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents with the Clark County Recorder's Office between 2005 and 2008.""
LPS' newly appointed president and CEO, Hugh Harris, officially responded to the indictments, saying, ""I am deeply committed to ensuring that LPS meets rigorous standards of professional conduct and operating excellence. I have full confidence in the ability of our leadership team and more than 8,000 dedicated employees to deliver on that commitment.""
The actions by Nevada's attorney general are a part of the previously established effort among the attorneys general for all 50 states to team up with the federal government in pursuit of mortgage crimes related to robo-signing. Speaking to the _Huffington_ _Post_, Prentiss Cox, a law professor at the ""University of Minnesota"":www.umn.edu/ and a former assistant state attorney general, noted his ""admiration"" for Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto's handling of the indictment; however, Cox went on to say, ""When criminal prosecutions are done for robo-signing, I would hope the target of those prosecutions would be the people who designed the system and profited from it, not just the low-level people doing what they were told.""