A former loan officer at a Texas Mortgage Company was sentenced last week to 31/2 years in federal prison and ordered to pay $751,075 in restitution for faking mortgage documents sent to the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development. U.S. District Judge Terry Means recommended that Ingles be imprisoned close to Fort Worth so she can have contact with her 18-month-old son, who will be in her mother's custody.
She was the second person to admit guilt in a scheme that cost HUD $964,814 after 21 mortgages defaulted, according to HUD and court documents. Last year, another loan officer pleaded guilty to conspiracy to make false entries to HUD. In December, she was sentenced to 18 months in prison and ordered to pay $214,837 in restitution.
The U.S. attorney's office in Fort Worth said fake or altered W-2s, pay stubs and child support payment records were provided to HUD officials who used them to approve and insure loans. She ultimately admitted falsifying work and rental histories, certificate of deposit statements, and verifications of rent and employment, according to a factual resume, a court document. She was licensed and worked for the same company October 2000 until the company canceled her sponsorship in November 2003, according to Texas Department of Savings and Mortgage Lending records.
An "investigation is ongoing," said Kathy Colvin, a spokeswoman for the U.S. attorney's office. Three other people, including the owner of many of the properties involved, have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to make false entries to HUD or making false entries to the agency.
The government had accused her of telling a property owner that she could falsify a buyer's employment at a company, according to the indictment. The buyer's Loan Application stated that "R.P." earned $4,000 a month at Home and Note Solutions. R.P. later told investigators that the person never worked at the company or made such a claim.
She did plead guilty to conspiracy to make false entries to HUD, had faced up to five years in prison. She also admitted that between Jan. 1, 2002, and about Dec. 31, 2003, she conspired with a property owner to submit false loan applications to HUD, according to the factual resume.
We should praise the work done by the members of HUD's office of inspector general for uncovering fraud scheme after a routine review of loan correspondence.
The ethical honest “Real Estate Industry Professionals” need to step up and assist the “American Homeowners” that are being victimized from these fraudsters and assist our governmental agencies in stopping mortgage fraud.
The majority of fraudulent loans are an inside job. Borrowers are not sophisticated enough to know the inner workings of a mortgage loan to get it through the different stages of loan processing, underwriting, and closing. We need to learn and teach how to prevent mortgage fraud, recognizing its signs and taking proactive, definite, and realistic steps to not only prevent it but also punish it.
You are all encouraged to report any suspected mortgage fraud activity to authorities, www.PreventLoanScams.org
Michael S. Richardson
Director/Mortgage Fraud Services
Author of "An American Epidemic, Mortgage Fraud a Serious Business"