Archives For Illinois

Jonathan L. Herbert, 36, Lighthouse Point, Florida, has been charged with wire fraud for conducting a home loan modification scam that targeted individuals who were having difficulties making their mortgage payments.

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Martin E. Schmidt, Jr., 57, Beecher, Illinois, and Donna M. Barber, 53, also of Beecher, have pleaded guilty to federal charges for fraudulently creating false reports that made it appear that the bank’s loan portfolio was in better shape than it actually was.

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Warren Ballentine, 43, Durham, North Carolina, an Illinois lawyer and Internet radio talk show host, was convicted on federal charges for engaging in two mortgage fraud schemes that defrauded lenders of a total of approximately $9.7 million.

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Robert J. Lunn, 64, Chicago, Illinois, an investment advisor, was convicted of federal bank fraud charges for engaging in a scheme to defraud Leaders Bank and two of his clients of more than $3.2 million and ultimately causing the bank to lose more than $2.7 million.

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Cherron Marie Phillips, a/k/a River Tali, 43, Chicago, Illinois, ended after two years of federal prosecution with Phillips being sentenced to a seven year prison term for knowingly filing false liens against the property of a dozen current and former federal employees in retaliation for their involvement in the investigation and prosecution of her brother, Devon Phillips.

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Anshoo Sethi, 30, Chicago, Illinois, a property developer, was indicted on federal charges for allegedly exploiting a U.S. visa program to fraudulently raise approximately $160 million from some 290 Chinese nationals who invested in the project while seeking U.S. residency.

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Bruce Hawkins, 64, Denver, Colorado, the former owner of a home building company that went bankrupt in 2008, leaving unfinished a commercial and residential property development, was sentenced to 15 months in federal prison for bank fraud related to the collapse of the project, known as Riverside Square.

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Six defendants are facing federal fraud charges involving separate schemes to obtain a total of more than $2.7 million through fraudulent statements in loan applications submitted to banks and mortgage lenders, among other institutions.

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Karen Strasser Steinke, 65, Millstadt, Illinois, was sentenced to twenty-one months imprisonment followed by three years supervised release as a result of her convictions for Wire Fraud in a scheme to defraud clients of Metro East Title, and Structuring of Financial Transactions to Avoid Currency Transaction Reporting Requirements. Evidence showed that Steinke took the funds to support a gambling habit.

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Cherron Marie Phillips, who also goes by the name of River Tali Bey, 43, Chicago, Illinois, was convicted by a federal jury after two days of testimony and found guilty of knowingly filing false  liens – each in the amount of $100 billion – against the property of current and former federal employees.

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