Jury Convicts Mortgage Fraudster of Running Straw Buyer Scam

Allison Tussey —  March 25, 2014 — Leave a comment

Albert Greer, Sr., Shelby Township, Michigan, was found guilty on March 20, 2014, of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and of aiding and abetting bank fraud.

They jury deliberated for three hours before returning the guilty verdicts, concluding a trial that began on March 11, 2014, before United States District Judge Stephen J. Murphy, III.

According to the indictment and evidence introduced during the trial established that from 2004 through 2007, Greer devised and executed a scheme to commit bank fraud by locating residential properties in the Detroit metropolitan area, then recruiting and paying straw buyers to sign for mortgage loans they never intended to repay on homes they never intended to live in. Greer often made the mortgage payments on the loans for several months so the lenders would not immediately realize that the loans had been obtained by fraud, but then the loans went into default and the properties went into foreclosure.

Co-defendant and co-conspirator Carlton Davis (who pleaded guilty in 2013 to conspiring with Greer) would submit fraudulent loan applications to various financial institutions on behalf of the straw buyers. The applications were filled with material false representations that were supported by phony documents Greer created, including W-2s, earnings statements, verifications of deposit, verifications of employment, and so on. Greer attempted to insulate himself from criminal liability by acting through the straw buyers and through shell companies—including Detroit National Mortgage Associates—he established in the names of his family members. Greer also had his family members open bank accounts in their names, which he used to launder the proceeds of his crimes.

Greer not only scammed banks out of several million dollars, he also stole the sellers’ proceeds on occasion by submitting invoices for “consulting fees” owed to Detroit National Mortgage Associates; if the seller did not realize those fees were included on the HUD-1s, proceeds checks would be issued to the shell company at closing, and Greer would cash the checks. In this way, Greer stole $167,844.31 from the homeowner who sold 18630 Fairway, Detroit, Michigan, in 2005 and $21,948.92 from the homeowner who sold 16872 Huntington, Detroit, in 2006.

Each count of conviction, conspiracy to commit bank fraud and aiding and abetting bank fraud, carries a maximum prison term of 30 years, a $1,000,000 fine, and five years of supervised release following the period of incarceration. No sentencing date has been set at this time.

United States Attorney Barbara L. McQuade announced the conviction

McQuade was joined in the announcement by Paul M. Abbate, Special Agent in Charge of the Detroit Division of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

The investigation of this case was conducted by special agents of the FBI and prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Cynthia Oberg.

“Some people rob banks with guns and masks,” McQuade said. “This defendant robbed banks with lies and false documents. White-collar criminals deserve to be seen as the robbers that they are.”

 

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Allison Tussey

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