Christopher Rakel, 29, St. Louis County, Missouri, has been sentenced to a term of 2 years probation, this term maybe terminated after 1 year if the defendant has complied with all conditions of probation.
As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, Rakel pled guilty to fraud charges involving a far-ranging scheme to defraud banks and other mortgage lenders.
Rakel, a mortgage broker with Tri-State Mortgage, facilitated the purchase of dozens of fraudulent real estate transactions, primarily in South St. Louis, Missouri, during 2005 and 2006. Rakel prepared fraudulent loan applications and other documents to assist buyers in obtaining millions of dollars in financing they could not otherwise obtain. The mortgage fraud scheme involved dozens of properties, and a number of co-conspirators, including investors, mortgage brokers and appraisers.
Rakel pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy to commit bank, wire and mail fraud, and one felony count of money laundering. He appeared before United States District Judge Charles A. Shaw.
Rakel faced a maximum penalty of 15 years in prison and/or a fine of up to $500,000. The government also sought restitution for the lenders victimized by the scheme.
“Misconduct like this only makes things worse for the troubled housing industry,” said Hanaway. “Federal law enforcement has responded to the crisis by stepping up fraud enforcement and emphasizing the prosecution of criminal misconduct and, hopefully, the aggressive collection of restitution for victims.”