3 Charged in Missouri Straw Buyer Scam

Allison Tussey —  July 27, 2010 — 1 Comment

Scott Olson, 44, formerly of St. Louis, Missouri, now residing in Eagle Mountain, Utah; Davena Ridenhour, 48, Kirkwood, MO; and Eric Nelson, 44, Glencoe, MO, have been indicted on money laundering charges involving a scheme to purchase and renovate seven St. Louis, Missouri properties, then sell them to straw buyers.

According to the indictment, in June 2005, Scott Olson, Davena Ridenhour Hagen and Eric Nelson agreed to go into the real estate investment business, and formed Red Brick Homes LLC, to acquire properties, renovate them and “flip” them at a quick profit. The indictment alleges that they would buy properties in the City of St. Louis, fix them up, and then locate a “straw buyer” to purchase them. The straw buyers had no intention of occupying and owning the properties, instead, the defendants promised them a cash payment for being allowed to use their credit to finance a property. Red Brick prepared the loan applications which were submitted through a mortgage company called Sunset Mortgage where Olson was a loan officer. The applications were false in that they represented to the lenders that a straw buyer, and not Red Brick intended to control and manage the properties. Red Brick could set any price the market would bear, and at closing they would reap a quick profit on a property. Finally, according to the indictment, Red Brick stopped paying on the notes and the properties went into foreclosure. In reliance on the false statement, lenders approved loans to straw buyers for seven properties.

If convicted, each count of money laundering carries a maximum penalty of 10 years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.

The United States Attorney’s Office announced the indictments.

This case was investigated by Internal Revenue Service Criminal Investigation. Assistant United States Attorney Tom Albus is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney’s Office.

The charges set forth in an indictment are merely accusations, and each defendant is presumed innocent until and unless proven guilty.

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Allison Tussey

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One response to 3 Charged in Missouri Straw Buyer Scam

  1. These are the kinds of assclowns that would show up at the local bar drving a leased BMW and when their tab came due would peel off $20’s from a big roll of bills in an act of showmanship that would make Liberace’ proud.

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