Jonathan Lyons, 53, a former sales representative at a company purporting to provide mortgage modification services, Rockville Center, New York, pled guilty in Manhattan federal court for his role in a multimillion-dollar scheme that victimized more than 500 financially struggling homeowners across the country.  Lyons, who was arrested in October 2013, pled guilty before U.S. District Judge George B. Daniels.

According to the allegations contained in the Indictment and related Informations, the plea agreements, and statements made in court proceedings: Continue Reading…

Was Irvine house-flipping business a Ponzi scheme?

A co-owner of a real estate firm based in Irvine and Long Beach set up a Ponzi scheme to pay off old investors while continuing to recruit new ones for a plan to flip distressed apartment buildings during the Great Recession’s housing collapse, a federal prosecutor told jurors.

However, Michael J. Stewart’s attorney told jurors his client was innocent and he thought his plan was a financially prudent one because homeowners who lost their property in foreclosure would have to turn to renting apartments Tuesday. Defense attorney Kenneth Miller also placed the blame for the company’s failure on co-defendant John Packard.

Broker tells his side against Irving Fryar and mother

A financial broker who is serving time in federal prison in connection with a $2 million mortgage scheme took the stand Wednesday in the conspiracy trial of ex-Eagle Irving Fryar and his mother, Allene McGhee, in the Burlington County Courthouse in Mount Holly.

William Barksdale is the key witness in a high-profile case in which the state Attorney General’s Office alleges Fryar and McGhee conspired to defraud six banks and a mortgage company of more than $1 million in 2009. Barksdale, of Levittown, had pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud for assisting Fryar, McGhee, and several other Burlington County clients with the scheme.

Shayne Harrison Smith, 47, Myrtle Beach, South Carolina entered a guilty plea in federal court in Florence, South Carolina, to Wire Fraud, a violation of 18 U.S.C. § 1343 in connection with a loan modification fraud scheme. Continue Reading…

Myrtle Beach man pleads guilty to role in mortgage rescue scheme

A Myrtle Beach man has pled guilty to wire fraud as part of a “mortgage rescue scheme,” according to United States Attorney Bill Nettles.

Shayne Harrison Smith, 47, of Myrtle Beach pled guilty to wire fraud in federal court in Florence. 

Brooklyn man sentenced to federal prison in mortgage scheme

A 34-year-old Brooklyn man was sentenced to 21 months in federal prison Tuesday in U.S. District Court on wire fraud charges after he orchestrated the straw purchases of homes including one property in Worcester.

Alexander Ndaula, who also goes by the names Money Mals and Mals, was ordered to pay just over $237,000 in restitution. He will be on three years supervised release once he gets out of federal prison.

Those are completely false accusations. We’re going to fight them very vigorously.

Francisco Aguirre, member of Montecristo Properties LLC, commenting to a reporter from the Phoenix Business Journal on a Search Warrant Affidavit

Michael St. Claire, 36, Skaneateles, New York was sentenced to six months in prison, an additional four months of home confinement, and ordered to pay $1,257,945 in restitution in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme which resulted in losses of more than $1 million to lenders. St. Claire previously pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit wire fraud. Continue Reading…

Herschell Harvell, Jr., a former Special Agent in Charge with the Office of Inspector General for the Department of Housing and Urban Development, has been convicted of two counts of making false statements to First Tennessee National Bank, N.A., to obtain a loan,  A jury convicted Harvell after a one week trial. 

According to Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn, the charges, and other information presented in court: Continue Reading…

Former real estate developer Roger Pollock pleads guilty to bank fraud

Real estate developer and Lake Oswego resident Roger Pollock agreed to a plea deal last week in connection with federal bank fraud charges relating to a loan he obtained for the construction of an office building on A Avenue.

Pollock, 54, is best known as the owner of the now-defunct Buena Vista Homes, whose projects included 141 houses built in Happy Valley. The fraud charges relate to a loan Pollock obtained for construction of an office building at 412 A Ave that was never built.