9 Former Argent Mortgage Company Account Managers, Supervisors and Underwriters Indicted

Allison Tussey —  July 1, 2011 — 8 Comments

A total of 13 defendants have been indicted in Ohio on mortgage fraud offenses involving nearly 13 million dollars in fraudulent loans, 9 of which worked for Argent Mortgage Company.

Denise (O’Brock) KobusArgent account manager

Michael ScolaArgent account manager

Angela PasternakArgent account manager

Terry ForbesArgent supervisor

Gerald SteinkuehlerArgent supervisor

Dee Anne ShawArgent underwriter

Kirk PorterArgent underwriter

David MongriotisArgent underwriter

Erin Foley-OttavianoArgent underwriter

Six of the defendants, including an Argent supervisor and Argent account managers, were indicted on engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity for operating this criminal enterprise. They falsified mortgage loan documents on 100 loans for 100 houses that did not meet Argent‘s standards. Argent was a large subprime lender in Cuyahoga County, Ohio.

The scheme entailed Argent account managers, Michael Scola, Angela Pasternak, and Denise (O’Brock) Kobus, coaching mortgage brokers, such as Dale Adams, Nick Myles, and James Sims, whom have already been charged for falsifying loan applications. In addition, these Argent account managers and Argent underwriter, DeeAnne Shaw, falsely stated that the conditions for approving said loans had been met.

Defendants engaged in the enterprise were involved with buyers or purchasers of residential real estate mainly located in Cuyahoga County and Summit Counties. The loans were secured by a mortgage received by Argent who later sold the note or mortgage/securities to investors. The buyers, with the assistance of mortgage brokers and employees, agents or independent contractors of Argent, submitted signed false and fraudulent loan applications to Argent‘s processing center located in Illinois in order for the buyer to purchase real estate in Cuyahoga or Summit County.

In these various loan applications, the buyers, with the assistance of mortgage brokers and account managers from Argent or other representatives from Argent, misstated one or more of the following: the amount of their assets, their income, the source of or existence of any down payment, the existence of a legitimate seller carryback mortgage, and/or other basic and fundamental financial information regarding their financial condition, in order to gain approval for the loan amounts requested in these applications. The total of the fraudulent loans is nearly $13 million. These loans were used on houses sold by or through Uri Gofman, who was indicted in the largest residential mortgage fraud case in the nation.

The following defendants were indicted on mortgage fraud related offenses including engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity: Michael Scola, Linda Warner, Denise Kobus, Angela Pasternak, Karen Harris, and Gerald Steinkuehler. The following defendants were indicted on mortgage fraud related offenses: James Sims, Terry Forbes, DeeAnne Shaw, Kirk Porter, David Mongriotis, Gerald Spuzzillo, and Erin Foley-Ottaviano.

Appraisers Linda Warner and Gerald Spuzzillo have been indicted on theft charges for falsifying appraisals on real estate deals for Argent and Long Beach Mortgage Company. These appraisers were hired by mortgage brokers and Uri Gofman to appraise properties Uri Gofman was selling. They inflated such appraisals to deceive Argent into believing that the properties were worth more than they actually were.

County Prosecutor Bill Mason and the Cuyahoga County Mortgage Fraud Task Force operating under authorization of Ohio Attorney General Mike DeWine’s Office and Ohio’s Organized Crime Investigations Commission announced the indictment.

Prosecutor Mason said, “The securitization and selling of these fraudulent subprime loans on Wall Street typified the rampant greed of the industry that ultimately led to the financial crisis.”

With funding from the Ohio Attorney General’s Office and the Organized Crime Investigations Commission, the Task Force was formed in December 2007. The Task Force is comprised of federal, state, and local law enforcement agencies. The director of the Task Force is a Sergeant of the Cuyahoga County Sheriff’s Office.

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Allison Tussey

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8 responses to 9 Former Argent Mortgage Company Account Managers, Supervisors and Underwriters Indicted

  1. As a real estate professional during the time of this massive deception I know how many consumers were hurt. However, I wonder who advised the loan applicants to provide false information? Had the current regulations been in effect our great country would be in a much healthier situation now.

  2. ADVICE TO ALL WHOM HAVE AN ARGENT MORTGAGE LOAN. GO TO COUNTY RECORDS TO THE RECORDERS OFFICE, CHECK TO SEE IF ARGENT SOLD YOUR LOAN OR “ASSIGNMENT OF TRUST DEED” TO ANOTHER BANK. IF THEY DID NOT ASSIGN YOUR MORTGAGE TO SOMEONE ELSE AND A BANK OTHER THAN ARGENT IS TRYING TO FORECLOSE. FIGHT THIS MATTER. ARGENT HAS BEEN OUT OF BUSINESS SINCE 2007. THE OTHER BANK THAT IS TRYING TO FORECLOSE DOES NOT HAVING THE TRUST DEED. I KNOW THIS I AM FIGHTING MY CASE AND ARGENT ATTORNEYS HAVE BACKED DOWN. FIGHT YOUR MORTGAGE…..IT IS ALL YOU HAVE LEFT

  3. dennis anthony July 2, 2012 at 1:14 am

    does anybody know a contact number to help me, i think i had the same problem with an illegal loan. if anyone could get a contact number i would appreciate that greatly or somewhere to point me in the right direction to find out more information. thank you so much!

  4. Makes no sense to me to go after loan officers and not the hire ups at the banks that reaped all the rewards…

  5. They should look at the orange, ca. location. What was Wayne Lee, the former ceo doing receiving 34.5 million in a B.S. consulting agreement. Was he guarding cash registers? Him and others there need to be held accountable for their dirty deeds. O.C. D.A., hey, are you listening?

  6. robert farley July 6, 2011 at 4:51 pm

    It is of some relief that people involved in the real estate industry who are without ethics and integrity are getting caught and convicted for their crimes. Those of us that are honest, have integrity and have demonstrated ethics in the real estate industry, are still being hurt by their deeds, as are homeowners and everyone else that have or will participate in the real estate economy for the foreseeable future.

  7. THEIR NEEDS TO BE A STRICT COMPANY POLICY NOT ALLOW CORPORATE LAPS TOPS TO LEAVE A COMPANY BUILDING, SINCE THEFT IS ON THE RAMPAGE AND PEOPLE’S PERSONAL INFORMATION IS BEING SOLD LIKE CRAZY TO CORRUPT PEOPLE AND BEING USED FOR FRAUD!!

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