Real Estate Agent Admits Role in $6M Mortgage Fraud Scam

Allison Tussey —  January 27, 2012 — Leave a comment

Rodney T. Riddle, 44, Cincinnati, Ohio, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court to submitting fraudulent mortgage loan applications to secure $6,971,870 from lending institutions as part of a mortgage fraud scheme.

Riddle pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of bank fraud.

As previously reported by Mortgage Fraud Blog, Riddle owned Seasons Real Estate and Trust, Vine Street, Cincinnati, Ohio, in 2002. According to testimony by a Postal Inspector at the plea hearing, Riddle solicited and encouraged clients, many of whom were family friends or members of the church he attended, to buy homes at prices that they could not afford. Riddle assured them that they would not be required to make the down payment so most agreed to buy.

Riddle worked with a mortgage broker to submit loan applications for his clients that generally contained false statements regarding the borrower’s assets and claimed that the borrower would be making a down payment. Riddle fraudulently created bank statements in order to support the fraudulent loan applications.

Many of the homes involved in the scheme required repairs. Riddle also owned a home repair company, Quality Home Maintenance, and submitted fraudulent invoices to the lenders showing repairs had been made when no work was actually done.

The plea agreement stated that the loss attributable to the scheme is between $1 million and $2.5 million. Actual loss, which is the difference between the amount of the loans obtained fraudulently and the amount already recovered, will be calculated prior to sentencing and restitution will be determined.

Each count of wire fraud and bank fraud is punishable by up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million. Chief U.S. District Judge Susan J. Dlott will set a date for sentencing.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio, Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), and Dugan Wong, Assistant Inspector in Charge, U.S. Postal Inspection Service announced the pleas entered before Judge Dlott.

“Mortgage fraud schemes can cost people time, money and their good credit,” Stewart said. “I want to commend Assistant U.S. Attorney Jennifer Barry who, along with the FBI agents and Postal Inspectors, continue to investigate the case.”

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Allison Tussey

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