Escrow Officer Admits Falsifying Settlement Statements

Allison Tussey —  February 27, 2014 — Leave a comment

Lacie Devine, 35, Edinburg, Texas, has pleaded guilty to federal charges in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.

The defendant pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit mail fraud before U.S. Magistrate Judge Amos L. Mazzant. She is the remaining defendant associated with five others in the same conspiracy to plead guilty to the mortgage fraud scheme.

According to the Indictment and information presented in court, from March 2008 through February 2010, Devine, an escrow officer at National Escrow & Title LCC, Dallas, Texas, conspired with others, including the five individuals identified below, to defraud lending institutions by submitting false documentation in support of mortgage applications on 28 property transactions located in the Dallas/Fort Worth Metroplex, Texas.

Specifically, Devine created fraudulent HUD-1 documents for each transaction that falsely stated the source of the down payments and concealed the true nature of the loan fund disbursements from the lending institutions. Devine’s criminal conduct in the scheme resulted in a loss to lending institutions of approximately $3,718,702.28.

Devine was indicted by a federal grand jury on June 13, 2013 and charged with federal violations. The five co-conspirators, all charged in separate indictments, have also pleaded guilty and been sentenced for their roles in the mortgage fraud conspiracy:

Roslyn Long, 45, Plano, Texas, loan officer, sentenced to 97 months in federal prison and $3,492,011.79 in restitution;

Michael Ross, 36-year-old loan officer and coordinator from Dallas, Texas, sentenced to 63 months in federal prison and $3,337,930.60 in restitution;

Curtis Callier, 33, Desoto, Texas, recruiter, sentenced to 30 months in federal prison and restitution in the amount of $691,543.22;

Ronzell Mitchell, 37, Stroudsburg, Pennsylvania, recruiter, sentenced to 46 months in federal prison and $1,408,402.96 in restitution; and

Christi Wyatt, 42, Desoto, Texas, recruiter, sentenced to 37 months in federal prison and restitution in the amount of $1,032,650.17.

Devine faces up to 20 years in federal prison at sentencing. A sentencing date has not been set.

The US Attorney for the Eastern District of Texas, John M. Bales, announced the guilty plea.

This case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Department of Housing and Urban Development-Office of Inspector General, the Federal Housing Finance Agency-Office of Inspector General, and the Texas Department of Insurance. These cases are being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Christopher A. Eason and J. Andrew Williams.

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Allison Tussey

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