Archives For Forgery

Alla Samchuk, 45, Roseville, California, was found guilty in a mortgage fraud scheme involving three properties after a four day jury trial in Sacramento, California.  Samchuk was convicted of six counts of bank fraud, six counts of making a false statement to a financial institution, one count of money laundering, and one count of aggravated identity theft. After the verdict, U.S. District Court Judge Garland E. Burrell Jr. ordered Samchuk taken into custody.

According to court documents, from 2006 through 2008, Samchuk, a licensed real estate salesperson, orchestrated a mortgage fraud scheme involving three properties in the Sacramento area using straw buyers. Two of the houses were purchased so that Samchuk herself could occupy them. She lacked the ability to qualify for a loan, so she instead recruited straw buyers to apply for the loans in their names. Samchuk caused the submission of loan applications containing false representations of income, employment, assets, and a false indication that the straw buyers would occupy the homes as their primary residence.

A second objective of the scheme was to obtain HELOC (home equity line of credit) funds. According to evidence at trial, on two of the properties, Samchuk diverted or attempted to divert HELOC funds to her own benefit. Samchuk caused the HELOC loans to fund by submitting false statements and documents to the lender regarding the qualifications of the straw buyers.

The scheme involved two properties in Roseville, California and one in El Dorado Hills, California. In 2007, Samchuk filed an application for a HELOC on one of the properties without the straw buyer’s knowledge or consent. To obtain the HELOC, she forged the signature of the straw buyer on a short form deed of trust that she caused to be notarized and recorded. The stated purpose of the HELOC was home improvement, but once the line of credit was funded, Samchuk quickly diverted all of the funds to her own use, spending the proceeds on a Lexus and the repayment of a substantial personal debt.

Sentencing is set for October 21, 2016. Samchuk faces a maximum of 30 years in prison for each count of bank fraud and false statements to a financial institution, 10 years in prison for money laundering, and two years in prison for aggravated identity theft.

The verdict was announced by Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert. This case is the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation and the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation. Assistant U.S. Attorneys Audrey B. Hemesath and Andre M. Espinosa are prosecuting the case.

Kurt Sanborn, 48, formerly of Dracut, Massachusetts, was sentenced to 27 months in prison.

In May 2003, Sanborn used a private $500,000 loan to buy a home in Manchester, New Hampshire.  In exchange, the private lenders received a first mortgage on the Manchester property which was recorded at the Hillsborough County, New Hampshire, Registry of Deeds.

In October 2003, Sanborn asked a mortgage company for a $685,000 loan to buy a second home in Gilford, New Hampshire.  The mortgage company agreed to finance the transaction if it received first mortgages on the Manchester and Gilford properties.  To deceive the mortgage company, Sanborn caused a mortgage discharge that contained the private lenders’ forged signatures to be filed with the Hillsborough County Registry of Deeds.  Sanborn’s conduct involving interstate wire communication and documents that were delivered by the U.S. Postal Service as part of the fraud served as the basis for wire and mail fraud charges.

Sanborn was also charged with bank fraud based on his conduct, in February 2004, in acquiring a $150,000 loan from a federally insured bank in exchange for a second mortgage on the Manchester property.  Sanborn concealed from the bank the private lenders’ mortgage on the Manchester property.

In October 2004, Sanborn sold the Manchester property without disclosing the private lenders’ mortgage on the property to the new owners.  He then used the proceeds of the sale to make a $185,000 payment to the mortgage company and to fully repay the $150,000 loan from the federally insured bank.

Sanborn pleaded guilty to the charges in May 2014.

The sentence was announced by Acting United States Attorney Donald Feith. The case was investigated by the United States Postal Inspection Service.  It was prosecuted by AUSA Robert Kinsella.

Regina Taylor, 59, Chicago, Illinois, a former clerk for the Cook County, Illinois, Recorder of Deeds, accepted a $200 cash bribe in exchange for preparing and agreeing to record a back-dated deed on an Oak Park, Illinois, home, according to a federal indictment.  Taylor accepted the bribe from an individual who purportedly wanted to add a relative’s name to the deed.  Unbeknownst to Taylor, the individual was actually an undercover law enforcement agent, the indictment states. Continue Reading…

Clifford Elliot Ryan, 29, Chicago, Illinois, was charged in two separate indictments in Tennessee in connection with forgery to obtain a real estate license.  During the course of the investigation, agents from the Tennessee Bureau of Investigation developed information that on two different occasions, Ryan hired two different individuals to submit their fingerprints as his so he could obtain a Tennessee real estate license. The investigation additionally revealed Ryan believed prior arrests on his record would prevent him from passing the background check necessary for obtaining a license.

In January, the Wilson County Grand Jury returned indictments for Ryan, a former resident of Tennessee, charging him with one count of Criminal Simulation and one count of Forgery/Passing a Forged Instrument in Wilson County, Tennessee. In March, the Davidson County Grand Jury returned indictments, charging Ryan with one count of Fabrication of Evidence, one count of Attempted Fabrication of Evidence, and one count of Criminal Simulation.

Court Holds Claims of Forged Deeds Not Subject to Time Limits (New York)

Although the CPLR sets forth an applicable statute of limitations period for virtually all causes of action, and otherwise provides for a catch-all limitations period under CPLR 213(1) for claims that are not specifically delineated, the Court of Appeals has recently held that one particular, and not altogether uncommon, cause of action is not subject to any limitations period. In a remarkable 4-3 holding in Faison v. Lewis, the majority of the Court of Appeals held that a claim alleging forgery of a deed is not subject to any statute of limitations defense.

Feds charge convict with running Philly real-estate scam from KY prison

Not even a stint in a Kentucky prison cell could stop serial counterfeiter and forger Kenneth Hampton from engaging in one of Philadelphia’s oldest real estate scams, federal prosecutors said.

In an indictment unsealed Tuesday, Hampton, 54, was charged with recruiting three family members in a scheme to steal two West Philadelphia rowhouses by filing fraudulent deeds with the city’s Department of Records.

Mohamed Daoud, 50, a Norwegian businessman, has pleaded guilty to laundering the proceeds of a complex scheme to steal real property. According to his plea agreement, between July 2012 and February 2013, Daoud helped to launder some of the millions of dollars in proceeds generated by a group of confederates who posed as the real owners of Southern California homes in order to “sell” the properties to unsuspecting buyers—who later learned that they had actually purchased nothing. Immediately after each sale, Daoud admitted, the confederates would disburse the money, ensuring that the funds vanished and the buyers could not recover their stolen money. Continue Reading…

Grady Wayne Fricks, 65, Nashville, Tennessee, pleaded guilty to conspiracy charges arising out of a scheme to defraud Cornerstone Community Bank, Dalton, Georgia, using false appraisals, settlement statements and misrepresentations to qualify for more than a million dollars in loans.

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Paxton Jeffrey Anderson, 44, Montevideo, Minnesota, and Joseph John Plany, 42, Hutto, Texas, were sentenced by U.S. District Court Judge Susan R. Bolton to eight years and four years in prison, respectively, and ordered to pay $3,270,425 in restitution. The defendants ran a scam wherein, unbeknownst to the borrowers, they forged and altered draw requests, and other documents, to withdraw money from the construction loans then used that money to buy racehorses and trips to the Kentucky Derby, among other things.  Continue Reading…

John C. McBride, 66, Boston, Massachusetts, who was disbarred in 2007 after practicing law for more than three decades, was sentenced to federal prison for tax and bank fraud violations. His crimes arose in connection with recording fraudulent tax and bank releases on his seaside Marblehead, Massachusetts home and his vacation home in Edgartown, Martha’s Vineyard. Both properties were later foreclosed on.

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