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Alleged Hit Job, Serial Scammer Make Fraud Blotter

Making the mortgage fraud blotter Friday, a real estate agent received a 20-month sentence and $5.6 million in fines, while a former attorney convicted on charges related to adoption fraud now also has mortgage fraud to his name. Meanwhile, a convict allegedly tried to orchestrate a hit on a co-defendant from a mortgage fraud scheme that sent him to the slammer in the first place.

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_MReport_ sourced stories from the ""_Associated Press_"":http://www.businessweek.com/ap/financialnews/D9Q533600.htm, ""LongIslandPress.com"":http://www.longislandpress.com/2011/10/07/adoption-scammer-convicted-of-mortgage-fraud-try/, and ""_The New York Times_"":http://www.nytimes.com/2011/10/07/nyregion/prisoner-aaron-hand-is-charged-with-trying-to-get-a-witness-killed.html to generate Friday's blotter.

First on the docket: Angela Clark, a former Kansas City-based real estate agent, who the _AP_ said got slapped with a 20-month sentence and $5.6-million restitution order for her role in a $12.6-million mortgage fraud plot from February 2005 to May 2007.

The news service said her actions resulted in a litany of foreclosures and depressed home prices, as Clark marked up property values and loans for 25 upscale properties far above their rates. The scheme involved 15 sham buyers, bilked title companies, and numerous falsifications intended to cover up the back-and-forth fraud.

""Lawns were not mowed and property values deteriorated,"" the _AP_ quoted prosecutors as saying in a statement. ""There were multiple foreclosures in the neighborhoods, and legitimate homeowners were unable to sell their properties,

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while at the same time property tax assessments increased because of the inflated sales prices. The properties were eventually sold post-foreclosure to third parties, with a net loss of more than $5.6 million.""

Meanwhile, on Long Island some thousands of miles away, former attorney Kevin found himself in the media again on charges related to identity theft, impersonation, and attempted grand larceny, according to LongIslandPress.com.

Previously convicted for stealing $300,000 from families he promised he would help with adoption needs, he now stands accused of trying to obtain a $300,000 home loan for his property with fraudulent information, the news site said.

If convicted on the charge, Cohen could face up to 18 years in the slammer, which he would serve concurrently with the other convictions, LongIslandPress.com reported.

Last, albeit certainly not least, _The New York Times_ offered up a widely read story of one Aaron Hand, previously convicted and now serving time for his role in a mortgage fraud scheme, with allegations that he scammed his parents into providing someone on the outside with the money he needed to hire a hit man.

The alleged target: one in a number of co-defendants who pled guilty and testified against Hand, landing the current convict with 18 to 25 years in prison, the newspaper sad.

According to the _Times_, he allegedly persuaded his parents to dole out $150 to a friend so that he could pay off a guard.

Unbeknownst to Hand, according to the newspaper, one of the men involved in the process of attempting the hit was an undercover investigator in league with the district attorney for Manhattan.

The _Times_ quoted Peirce Moser, an assistant district attorney, as saying, ""This defendant took every step he could to ensure that a witness was murdered.""

A New York court charged Hand with attempted murder in the first- and second-degree.

About Author: Ryan Schuette

Ryan Schuette is a journalist, cartoonist, and social entrepreneur with several years of experience in real-estate news, international reporting, and business management. He currently lives in the Washington, D.C., area, where he freelances for DS News and MReport.
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