The phrase ""family business"" found a new meaning this week as arrests and jail sentences followed for two men and their children that authorities corralled for bilking lenders and homeowners. Also making the mortgage fraud blotter Friday: five businessmen from Iowa and over a dozen defendants from Miami.[IMAGE]
_MReport_ pooled the latest in mortgage fraud news from cases nestled in the pages of the ""_Des Moines Register_"":http://www.desmoinesregister.com/article/20110915/BUSINESS/309150044/0/BASU/?odyssey=nav%7Chead, ""_Mercury News_"":http://www.mercurynews.com/news/ci_18901688?nclick_check=1, ""_Miami Herald_"":http://www.miamiherald.com/2011/09/14/2407486/12-charged-with-mortgage-fraud.html, and ""_South Bend Tribune_"":http://articles.southbendtribune.com/2011-09-14/news/30158261_1_superior-mortgage-lending-tri-state-mortgage-mortgage-fraud-scheme for the past week.
First in the line-up, police in Antioch arrested 49-year-old Carlos Parada for his alleged role in a mortgage fraud scheme that bilked an elderly widow, according to _Mercury_. Authorities accuse his daughter, Karla Parada, of misrepresenting debt notes and making off with the cash once the two sold the woman's home.
While authorities continue scouring the area for the younger Parada, the elder pled not guilty to charges of grand theft and elder abuse in court Wednesday. The news outlet said that the man's brother will also see charges related to mortgage fraud in another case.
In other family news, Michael Sheneman received his day in court and an eight-year jail sentence for orchestrating a four-year mortgage fraud scheme with his son, Jeremie, according to the _Tribune_. The newspaper said that the scheme tapped some 60 properties around the South Bend area.
Despite hearing from Sheneman for nearly an hour at a May hearing, a jury of his peers convicted the father on four counts of wire fraud. The newspaper reported that the father-and-son duo orchestrated the scheme under business names and identities Tri-State Mortgage and Superior Mortgage Lending.
The _Tribune_ story did not account for the whereabouts of the son or whether officials planned to bring any charges against the Sheneman junior.
Meanwhile, a Des Moines grand jury leveled indictments against five businessmen on federal mortgage fraud charges, according to the _Register_.[COLUMN_BREAK]
Their peers accused four of the five ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô Altoona-based Lane Anderson, Urbandale-based David Mable, Earlham-based Shannon Flickinger, and Granger-based Paul Kramer ├â┬ó├óÔÇÜ┬¼├óÔé¼┼ô of conspiring to commit wire fraud.
According to the _Register_, Kramer, doing business on behalf of Kramer Mortgage Co., struck a deal with Anderson, Mable, and Flickinger, via LDF Development, in order to buy, refurbish, and sell homes for a profit. Covering some 40 properties since 2006, the dealmakers allegedly turned to fraud in 2008 when it selling homes became more onerous and difficult for the five.
To reimburse Kramer Mortgage, LDF Development relied on Flickinger in his role as a sham buyer to sell homes at higher prices to Kramer, who served as a broker in the purchase agreements, according to the newspaper. Trouble found the three when the FBI and state regulators built the framework for a successful prosecution, a caseload that benefited from the surplus amount of loans signed off on by Kramer.
The _Register_ also reported a case of mortgage fraud involving Kellogg-based Jason Kibbee, who on Wednesday received counts of wire fraud and making false statements to a financial institution for his role in forging documents to scoop up properties in distress.
Kibbee secured $100,000 in loans for a handicapped relative to pick up homes, with the defendant benefiting from the purchase agreement to the tune of $31,000, according to the newspaper.
In Miami, the _Herald_ reported the state attorney general moved forwad with indictments against a dozen people for their purported roles in a scheme that scammed mortgage companies out of $16 million with fraudulent mortgage loan documents.
Defendants from Miami include Carlos Alfonso Ramon Zapata, Jessica Concepcion, Douglas Nicaragua, Julian Patino, Maria Magnolia Salazar, Gilberto Arroyave-Quintero, and Viviana Lopez, according to the newspaper. Others included foreign nationals from Columbia and one woman from the Dominican Republic.
The charges, as reported by the _Herald_: conspiracy, organized fraud, money laundering, and racketeering.
The _Herald_ quoted James Loftus, director of the Miami_Dade Police Department, as saying, ""These arrests should send a direct message that the MDPD will not tolerate illegal business practices by those individuals who choose to continue to contribute ot the downfall of the national, state and local mortgage industry.""
The newspaper also quoted Attorney General Pam Bondi as saying that ""it is imperative that we do everything in our power to eliminate mortgage fraud"" in Florida, given continuing distress for the housing market at large.