6 Indicted for Chicago Area Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Allison Tussey —  June 24, 2009 — 2 Comments

Alshawntus Beck, 35, Plainfield, Illinois, Michelle Parker, 41, Steven Corbett, 41, Kevin Keller, 43, Jimmie D. Johnson, 38, and Otis Robinson III, 29, all of Chicago, Illinois, were charged with one or more counts of wire fraud in a nine-count indictment returned for allegedly engaging in a $3 million mortgage fraud scheme in the Chicago area. The indictment alleges that between February and December 2006, Beck operated three companies — Compass Investments and Development Corp., and West Horizon Construction, which purported to be in the business of buying, repairing and reselling real estate.

Assisted by Parker, a loan officer at an area mortgage broker, Beck allegedly brought three nominee buyers to the brokerage to apply for loans to purchase from him three condominium units located at 3834 West Maypole in Chicago. Corbett allegedly fraudulently applied for loans using the fictitious identity “Al Spann;” while Keller and Johnson allegedly fraudulently applied for loans using stolen identities. Beck also allegedly recruited Robinson III to create false real estate appraisals inflating the value of properties that Beck bought for himself and through nominees.

According to the indictment, Parker obtained false verifications of rent for Corbett and Buyer A. Similarly, Beck obtained forged documents falsely stating that Corbett was an employee of West Horizon Construction, and that Buyer A was an employee of Compass Investment and Development Corp., and Parker submitted the false documents to a lender to fraudulently obtain the loans. Parker also submitted to a lender a forged document provided by Beck that falsely stated that Keller had approximately $8,000 in a bank account that did not exist.

As part of the scheme, Parker also processed false loan applications for Keller, using a stolen identity, to purchase properties 3817 West Maypole, Chicago, Illinois and 6828 South Indiana, Chicago, Illinois. The loan application for the Maypole residence was supported by a forged document that Beck provided, which falsely stated that Keller was an employee of West Horizon Construction, the indictment alleges. The loan application for the Indiana Avenue residence was supported by a falsely inflated appraisal, allegedly created by Robinson using the name of a real estate appraiser whose identity Robinson had stolen.

The indictment also alleges that Beck purchased two properties in his own name: 3849-51 West Maypole, Chicago, Illinois and 2023 North Bingham, Chicago, Illinois. The application for the loan to purchase the Maypole property was supported by a false verification of rent provided by Parker, and both loan applications were supported by falsely inflated appraisals provided by Robinson. Four months after buying 2023 North Bingham, Beck sold the property to Buyer B for a price that was 56 percent higher than Beck had paid by using another falsely inflated appraisal provided by Robinson, the charges allege.

The indictment seeks forfeiture of $3 million from the defendants. Arrest warrants were issued for all six, who will also be ordered to appear for arraignment at a later date.

The Government is being represented by Assistant U.S. Attorney Clifford Histed.

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Allison Tussey

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2 responses to 6 Indicted for Chicago Area Mortgage Fraud Scheme

  1. I agree with Jimmy. In fact there is a now divorced couple from Lake Forest IL that have been purchasing properties near chicago area, never pay the mortgages, live life large, while it takes years for the properties to go to default and then sheriff sales. Then get someone to come in and buy from the bank at a deflated price, meanwhile getting a deal from both ends?

  2. There are many, many real estate fraudsters in the city of Chicago. The thing that amazes me is that many continue to commit the same crimes for years before they are arrested. It is the same thing as if a bank robber’s identity is known but the FBI lets them continue to rob banks in order that they attain further bank robbery evidence. The mere fact that street gangs and con artists sit in offices waiting for their next victim is a sign of how ‘de-regulated’ logic and trust has eroded in the USA to a point where con artists and gangbangers are more protected than their victims. This country has turned into a free-for-all to rip-off everyone and anyone. Only the victims suffer the consequences of the crime by being financially devastated while the perp just waits for their next victim. Over and over, this process happens again and again in America because no legitimate checks and balances are put in place to stop the largest financial crime in modern history. All empirical evidence supports that mortgage fraud will continue at a steady rate and nothing will be done to rectify this situation at any point. This is not America anymore. This is a country where corruption and greed has allowed street gangs and con artists to be put in positions in which they can and do commit crimes against innocent people who are defenseless to protect themselves, BEFORE and AFTER they were ripped off.

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