Eleven people plead not guilty in federal court in Greensboro, North Carolina to charges including conspiracy, fraud and making false statements to an institution insured by the Federal Deposit Insurance Corp. in connection with an alleged mortgage fraud scheme. Not guilty pleas were entered by:
Lester Penniegraft, mortgage broker
Dante Rashad Penniegraft, mortgage broker
Sandra Banks Thompson, mortgage broker
Tommy Penniegraft, mortgage broker
Joann Penniegraft Cheek, mortgage broker
Orland Burton, mortgage broker
Earl Dwayne Boss, mortgage broker
Deborah Penniegraft Mapp
Herman Gene McBride
Ann Marie Caudell
Stanley Tyrone Montgomery
Trial has been tentatively scheduled for February 9, 2005. A twelfth defendant, a mortgage broker, was not required to enter a plea due to a charging error which prosecutors will petition to correct.
The indictment alleges that executive and employees at Oasis Mortgage Co., High Point, North Carolina originated fraudulent loans by providing falsified income documentation for buyers who otherwise would not have qualified. They also are accused of faking down payments and submitting inflated home appraisals. According to the indictment, they also recruited at least four people from outside the company to assist in defrauding lenders.
According to the FBI, Oasis brokered loans valued at between $15 million and $20 million annually.