Randall Tharp, Atlanta, Georgia, a builder for Tyson Homes, Inc., and the Paddocks Development Group, Inc., was acquitted on all charges via directed verdict at the close of the government’s case. Tharp was indicted in April 2006, and faced charges of conspiracy to commit mortgage fraud, money laundering, bank fraud and wire fraud stemming from the sale of several luxory homes in metro Atlanta, Georgia area.
As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, The US Attorney for the Northern District of Georgia unsealed a superseding grand jury indictment charging 21 individuals in a complicated mortgage fraud scheme alleged to have operated between June 2004 and April 18, 2006. The indictment includes 99 counts including bank fraud, wire fraud, mail fraud, conspiracy, money laundering and identity document fraud.
Those indicted and relevant allegations concerning their roles as reflected in the first superseding indictment were:
Olympia D. Ammons, St. Louis, Missouri, loan officer with Ace Mortgage Funding. Ammons originated a number of mortgage loans for unqualified borrowers and was paid funds by Wings in addition to her commissions;
Mohamed ‘Mo’ Bayorh, an unqualified borrower who was paid $547,000 through his company, Fairington Winslow, Inc., to obtain in excess of $1.3 Million in mortgages in his own name and to recruit other straw borrowers;
Andre B. Benson, alleged to have been paid $260,000 to cause his mother to obtain over $1.3 million in mortgage loans;
Raymond Joseph Costanzo, Jr., attorney, Atlanta, Georgia, closed a number of fraudulent loans while concealing material facts from the lenders According to the indictment Costanzo was also paid $250,000 to obtain in excess of $1.5 million in mortgage loans for which he did not qualify;
Clarence Lorenzo Davis aka C. Dave Davis is accused of falsely verifying employment for his girlfriend, Virginia Rose Novrit, through his company C. Dave Davis LLC and her income, residence and source of down payments in order to assist attempts to obtain over $6.6 million in mortgage loans.
Mohammad Amin Hassamadi, builder, was the CEO, CFO and Secretary of Polo Tech Construction, Inc. the seller of properties in the St. Marlo Subdivision
Joseph Sterling Jetton is alleged to have arranged for the recruitment of straw borrowers to obtain in excess of $19 million in loans for which they were not qualified. Jetton induced participation in the scheme by professing religious values. Though neither Jetton nor his company, Precision Construction Co., was licensed as real estate broker or agent, they appeared as the listing broker on a number of purchase and sale agreements.
David S. Kroll of DKS Consulting, Inc. allegedly assisted Virginia Rose Novrit to obtain in excess of $1.7 million in mortgages by depositing money into her account to facilitate generation of a verification of deposit, fronted her down payment money and received payment in his company name for those services from the loan proceeds.
Leon Kelly Lumsden of LL & Associates Investment Firm used his company name to provide false employment and income for unqualified borrowers, including himself. He was paid through LL & Associates Investment Firm and G&L Holdings, Inc. to assist Wings in recruiting straw borrowers.
Ronald Denzil Martin, Jr. was allegedly a paid $145,000 to act as straw borrower for in excess of $1.3 million in mortgage loans.
Ricardo Antonio Myrie was allegedly paid $600,000 to act as straw borrower for in excess of $3 million in mortgage loans.
Hassan Nimapoo, builder, was the CEO, CFO and Secretary of Crown Custom Homes, Inc. and the owner of Lum Crowe Development, LLC, the sellers of number of homes in the St. Marlo and Litchfield Estates Subdivisions.
Virginia Rose Novrit was a straw borrower who attempted to obtain over $6.6 million in mortgages for which she was not qualified
Lawrence Seval Reid aka Lawrence Steven Reid, allegedly an illegal alien using an alias and the stolen SSN of a minor child, was a straw borrower who was paid over $256,000 to obtain mortgage loans in excess of $1.9 million, according to the indictment.
Ariel Hope Samuel aka Arial Carty, an illegal alien and girlfriend of Reid, provided false verifications for Reid as well as the shell company, Raggstone, Inc. for receipt of Reid loan proceeds. She is further alleged to have used false employment and a stolen SSN to obtain a vehicle and mortgage loan in her Carty alias.
Attemerell Smith is alleged to have acted as a straw borrower for over $1.3 million in mortgage loans.
Daryl Maurice Smith was the owner of McSmith Properties and was a partner in G&L Holdings with Gregory Wings and Leon Lumsden. Daryl Smith was allegedly paid $332,5000 to cause his mother, Attemerell Smith , to obtain mortgage loans exceeding $1.3 million for a property where Daryl Smith wished to reside. He also allegedly received payments for recruitment of other straw borrowers.
Randall Tharp, builder, vice-president of Paddocks Development, Inc. the seller of a property in the Cobblestone Farms Subdivision. Tharp also allegedly acted for his wife as the seller of other properties in the Paddocks Subdivision and elsewhere.
Fabian O. Witlshire allegedly arranged for Kroll to assist Novrit in obtaining in excess of $1.7 million in mortgage loans.
Gregory Jerome Wings, Jr. aka G Money used companies, including G&L Holdings Group, Inc. and Metropolitan Realty, to receive over $2.8 in payments for recruiting straw borrowers. He was also paid to obtain mortgages in his own name for which he was not qualified and, in addition, he and/or Metropolitan Realty were listed as seller broker although not licensed to act as such, according to the indictment.
Calvin Lee Wright is alleged to have been paid over $527,000 to act as a straw borrower for in excess of $3.5 million in mortgage loans.
The case was initially instituted on April 22, 2005 with a magistrate complaint against Novrit. On July 5, 2005, twenty-count indictment was filed charging only Novrit and Davis. The superseding indictment naming the additional nineteen defendants was filed under seal by the US Attorney on April 19, 2006.
According to the indictment, the defendants would recruit straw borrowers, including illegal aliens, to purchase residential properties from builders and others, often at fraudulently inflated prices. They would then obtain artificially inflated appraisals to support the purchase prices, often hundreds of thousands of dollars over the list prices. The defendants would then obtain fraudulently inflated mortgage loans in the names of the unqualified straw borrowers with the excess loan proceeds to be disbursed to the straw borrowers, their recruiters, those fronting borrower down payments, the builders and other sellers. The loan applications contained misrepresentations regarding borrower employment, income, assets, liabilities and/or intent to occupy. Down payment information was also misrepresented as down payments were either made by way of cashier’s checks drawn from loan proceeds disbursed at closing or by way of loan from a coconspirator. Shell companies were also utilized to funnel loan proceeds to recruiters, straw borrowers, those fronting down payments and other coconspirators.
According to the indictment, some of the straw borrowers were informed that the properties would be rented to ‘actresses and ball players.’ They were also told that the mortgages, insurance and taxes would be paid for them and that they would make additional money when the properties were sold.
The properties mentioned in the indictment include:
861 Beutell Street, Atlanta, Georgia
10710 Stroup Road, Roswell, Georgia
1341 Epworth Street, Atlanta, Georgia
5886 Seam Street,
2830 Luther Drive,
4560 Old Lake Drive,
13 Sams Point Lane, Hilton Head SC
8425 Coghill Trace, Duluth GA
4338 Azalea Walk, Ellenwood GA
8760 Islesworth Ct, Duluth GA
1106 Pristine Pl, Duluth GA
8415 Coghill Trace, Duluth GA
347 Temple St, Atlanta GA
3192 Vivian Sykes St, East Point GA
8415 Merion Dr, Duluth GA
385 Lum Crowe Rd, Roswell GA
372 Lum Crowe Rd, Roswell GA
376 Lum Crowe Rd, Roswell GA
8915 Doral Dr, Duluth GA
8925 Coghill Trace, Duluth GA
8730 Sawgrass Way, Duluth GA
395 Lum Crowe Rd, Roswell GA
700 Old Saddle Lane, Alpharetta GA
3075 Francis Rd, Alpharetta GA
8905 Colonial Dr, Duluth GA
110 Ryan Lake Trail, Alpharetta GA
384 Lum Crowe Rd, Roswell GA