Dequincy Hyatt, Detroit, Michigan; Seaesther Thompson-Hayes, Flat Rock, Michigan; and Aaron Brooks, Jr., Southgate, Michigan, are each charged with racketeering for their roles in a multi-million dollar mortgage fraud scheme. The fourth individual, Pietro Biundo, Washington, Michigan, is charged with filing false documents when selling a home in one of the mortgage fraud transactions.
An investigation by the Michigan State Police and Attorney General’s office revealed that in 2006, Dequincy Hyatt, managing partner of J.B. Homes/Construction, LLC., Seaesther Hayes, a mortgage broker, and Aaron H. Brooks, Jr., a former service representative for the People’s Trust Credit Union (PTCU), partnered together to perpetrate a large scale mortgage fraud. Two properties were involved in this case. In the first case, it is alleged the defendants secured a $710,000 mortgage for a $510,000 home in Shelby Township. After paying fees, the defendants were able to skim more than $163,000 off the transaction.
In the second case, it is alleged the defendants secured a $785,000 mortgage though the straw buyer for a $515,000 Clinton Township home. The seller of the home in this case, Biundo, was also charged with filing false documents related to the transaction.
It is alleged that the defendants sought and obtained a straw buyer for the two targeted luxury properties. The straw buyer was told that her name and credit, boosted by grossly inflated income and
asset data, would be used to purchase the properties. The mortgage payments would be made for her by the defendants and her name would later be removed from the mortgages. In return, the straw buyer was promised compensation.
About a year after the transactions, however, the defendants stopped making the mortgage payments. The straw buyer was left with two mortgages in her name, and was not able to make payments. Both
houses went into foreclosure. Hyatt, Hayes, and Brooks are charged with one count of continuing criminal enterprise (racketeering), a 20-year felony, and two counts of false pretenses, each a 10-year felony. Biundo is charged with one count of false pretenses based on the filing of a falsified deed in the sale of his home, a 5-year felony.
Hyatt, Hayes, and Brooks have been arrested and arraigned. Biundo is expected to turn himself in to police shortly.
“Mortgage fraud directly hurts Michigan consumers. The housing market, consumers and mortgage lenders suffer when scam artists limit the ability of law-abiding citizens to obtain loans. With those loans, consumers would be buying a home or a car–something our economy desperately needs for recovery.” said Cox.
“I would like to thank the Michigan State Police for their hard work in uncovering this fraud,” said Cox.
Attorney General Cox has made prosecuting mortgage fraud a priority for his office. In 2008, Cox created a mortgage fraud unit and teamed up with the Michigan State Police and other law enforcement
agencies to tackle the problem. Cox’s office has also held four mortgage foreclosure forums to help families stay in their homes during these difficult times.
A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the Defendants are presumed innocent unless proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt.