Former Bank Official Admits Disbursing Over $300K in Fraudulent Loans

Former Bank Official Admits Disbursing Over $300K in Fraudulent Loans
http://mortgagefraudblog.com/former-bank-official-admits-disbursing-over-330k-in-fraudulent-loans/
May 14, 2015 —
By: Rachel Dollar, the editor of Mortgage Fraud Blog is a California attorney and Certified Mortgage Banker who handles litigation for mortgage lenders, servicers and financial institutions.

Ardonus “Donna” Perkins, 40, Atlanta, Georgia, the former Assistant Vice President of Risk Management of the Credit Union of Georgia, has pleaded guilty to a charge of mail fraud for causing the credit union to disburse over $300,000 in fraudulent loans.

According to the charges and other information presented in court: From January 2008 through August 2010, Perkins, used the names of unknowing family members and friends to open signature loans and true lines of credit at the credit union, which are open-ended personal lines of credit.

Perkins took the funds obtained from these fraudulent loans for her own personal use. She also secretly refinanced automobile loans without the auto owner’s knowledge, consent, or authorization, and took those proceeds. Additionally, Perkins established fraudulent VISA accounts in the names of family members and friends and received cash advances on those accounts without their knowledge.

Perkins’ fraud scheme went undetected at the Credit Union of Georgia until she was fired in 2010 for policy violations. She continually increased the loan limits and available credit limits on the fraudulent loans to obtain more funds. In an effort to conceal and continue her scheme, Perkins used some of the money she fraudulently received to make payments on some of the loans, lines of credit, and credit card accounts that she had fraudulently established in the names of others.

To further conceal her scheme, Perkins directed the monthly statements of the fraudulently established accounts to her personal post office box. As a result of Perkins’ scheme, the Credit Union of Georgia lost more than $300,000.

Sentencing for Perkins is scheduled for July 30, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. before United States District Judge Mark H. Cohen.

Acting U.S. Attorney Horn announced the guilty plea.

This case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service.

Assistant United States Attorneys Loranzo M. Fleming and Jeff A. Brown are prosecuting the case.

“This now former credit union executive used her institutional knowledge of the financial system to concoct a multi-faceted fraud scheme to steal money from the credit union,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners will vigorously investigate and prosecute those engaged in fraud that threatens the integrity of the banking system.”

“The United States Secret Service will continue to take an aggressive approach to arrest individuals who violate the trust of businesses to further their personal financial gain,” said Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office.

Former Bank Official Admits Disbursing Over $300K in Fraudulent Loans

May 14, 2015 — Leave a comment

Ardonus “Donna” Perkins, 40, Atlanta, Georgia, the former Assistant Vice President of Risk Management of the Credit Union of Georgia, has pleaded guilty to a charge of mail fraud for causing the credit union to disburse over $300,000 in fraudulent loans.

According to the charges and other information presented in court: From January 2008 through August 2010, Perkins, used the names of unknowing family members and friends to open signature loans and true lines of credit at the credit union, which are open-ended personal lines of credit.

Perkins took the funds obtained from these fraudulent loans for her own personal use. She also secretly refinanced automobile loans without the auto owner’s knowledge, consent, or authorization, and took those proceeds. Additionally, Perkins established fraudulent VISA accounts in the names of family members and friends and received cash advances on those accounts without their knowledge.

Perkins’ fraud scheme went undetected at the Credit Union of Georgia until she was fired in 2010 for policy violations. She continually increased the loan limits and available credit limits on the fraudulent loans to obtain more funds. In an effort to conceal and continue her scheme, Perkins used some of the money she fraudulently received to make payments on some of the loans, lines of credit, and credit card accounts that she had fraudulently established in the names of others.

To further conceal her scheme, Perkins directed the monthly statements of the fraudulently established accounts to her personal post office box. As a result of Perkins’ scheme, the Credit Union of Georgia lost more than $300,000.

Sentencing for Perkins is scheduled for July 30, 2015, at 10:00 a.m. before United States District Judge Mark H. Cohen.

Acting U.S. Attorney Horn announced the guilty plea.

This case is being investigated by the United States Secret Service.

Assistant United States Attorneys Loranzo M. Fleming and Jeff A. Brown are prosecuting the case.

“This now former credit union executive used her institutional knowledge of the financial system to concoct a multi-faceted fraud scheme to steal money from the credit union,” said Acting U.S. Attorney John Horn. “The Department of Justice and our law enforcement partners will vigorously investigate and prosecute those engaged in fraud that threatens the integrity of the banking system.”

“The United States Secret Service will continue to take an aggressive approach to arrest individuals who violate the trust of businesses to further their personal financial gain,” said Reginald G. Moore, Special Agent in Charge of the United States Secret Service, Atlanta Field Office.

New Upcoming Fines for JP Morgan and Chase Co.

Mortgage group concerned about payment structures for fines 

http://www.insidecounsel.com/2013/10/08/mortgage-group-concerned-about-payment-structures?t=litigation 

Group says large banks have the option to leverage loans they don’t own in order to settle violations

BY CHRIS DIMARCO

October 8, 2013 • Reprints 

While the Department of Justice (DOJ) and J.P. Morgan and Chase Co. have still yet to reach a settlement to resolve a number of pending probes, investors are concerned that they could be unfairly required to shoulder the burden the banks pay out. 

A group of mortgage bond investors has penned a letter to the DOJ, asking it to prevent any bank from using mortgage-backed security adjustments to pay fines. They did not directly imply that the settlement they were talking about stemmed from the ongoing discussions between JP and the DOJ, but raised concerns surrounding settlements with any major bank. 

The group, the Association of Mortgage Investors (AMI), represents about 25 individuals and controls about $56 billion in assets under its organization. In the letter, which was reviewed by The Wall Street Journal, the group’s executive director Chris Katopis says, “Parties sued by the government or third-parties should not be able to settle with assets that they do not own, namely other people’s money.” 

As of last week, J.P. Morgan and the DOJ had yet to come to agreement terms that would end a series of investigations pending for the bank. Settlement figures as high as $11 billion have been kicked around, according to individuals close to the case, although no official word has been made. According to speculation, $7 billion of that total would be paid out in fines, with an additional $4 billion going towards relief for struggling homeowners. 

The Association of Mortgage Investors is said to be posturing proactively because of previous mortgage settlements made this year. In these settlements, banks could receive partial settlement credit if they reduced loan-balances. However, many of the mortgages they reduced balances on were managed by investors, and therefore not technically owned by the banks. 

There has been little news out of the J.P. Morgan talks outside of speculation, and it is not known if the Department of Justice is considering the type of payment structure the AMI is fearful of in their talks.

Honor system for foreclosure paperwork has led to illegal Colorado seizures, lawyer surmises – The Denver Post

http://www.denverpost.com/business/ci_20160083/honor-system-foreclosure-paperwork-has-led-illegal-colorado

Posted:   03/13/2012 01:00:00 AM MDT
March 13, 2012 3:50 PM GMT Updated:   03/13/2012 09:50:25 AM MDT

By David Migoya
The Denver Postdenverpost.com

(Associated Press file photo)

Thousands of Colorado homes were taken in foreclosure in recent years by banks that probably never had the right to do so because no one bothered to challenge the process, said a lawyer who worked for the state’s biggest foreclosure law firm.

Lawyers often blindly sign a document attesting that the bank they represent has the right to foreclose — allowable under Colorado law — without ever actually seeing the original loan documents, attorney Keith Gantenbein said. He worked at Castle Stawiarski, where more foreclosure cases originate than any other law firm statewide.

Gantenbein said he and other lawyers signed “tens of thousands” of documents known as statements of qualified holder. The papers certify lenders’ right to foreclose, generally with little more than an e-mail from a bank or loan servicer telling the lawyers to file the case.

“The discomfort was you had no way to verify the information they provided, and we found many bank errors, and you’re not 100 percent sure you had the right to foreclose,” Gantenbein said Monday. “It happened so frequently that there has to be a large percentage of homeowners who lost their homes to the wrong people.”

Gantenbein, 31, is expected to appear today before a state House committee taking testimony on a bill designed to end the practice and require banks to provide original loan papers before they can foreclose.

The bill, sponsored by Rep. Beth McCann, D-Denver, also would require judges to certify that foreclosing lenders have the legal right to take a property. Currently, they only attest that a homeowner is in default of a note and is not serving in the military before ordering a foreclosed home to be sold at public auction.

HB 1156 is scheduled to be heard at 1:30 p.m. today in the Economic and Business Development Committee.

Gantenbein is the first lawyer involved in the foreclosure process to speak publicly. He is among a number of attorneys who have told The Denver Post they were uncomfortable with signing documents attesting a bank’s right to foreclose without actually knowing whether it was true.

“As an inside attorney, … Keith describes the pressure to foreclose quickly and efficiently, not always dotting the I’s,” McCann said. “I admire his bravery in coming forward to help correct a broken and unfair system.”

Gantenbein said Colorado’s century-old public-trustee system of foreclosures — unique in the nation — has been manipulated so often that it’s no longer the unbiased process that was intended.

“I just feel the process is tilted unfavorably to the lender and that borrowers are simply being taken advantage of with a system that isn’t transparent,” said Gantenbein, who estimates he signed as many as 60 qualified-holder statements each day during the more than two years he worked at the Castle law firm.

Lawrence Castle did not respond for comment.

“The foreclosure process in Colorado is one of blind faith,” Gantenbein said. “Colorado’s current laws unfairly allow lenders and law firms and attorneys to railroad through the foreclosure process and hide or gloss over substantive issues.”

The qualified-holder process is legal, created in 2002 and 2006 in paragraphs buried deep inside legislation designed to shore up Colorado’s foreclosure laws.

Castle was among a group of lawyers specializing in foreclosures who helped draft the laws, which were then backed by an association representing the state’s public trustees.

In a Denver Post story published in September on how the law was drafted, several trustees said the qualified-holder section was slipped in without their knowledge. Others said they believed the bill related to battling mortgage fraud, which was another aspect to it.

Gantenbein said it was passed “solely to make foreclosures faster and easier.” The reason: “To get paid faster. It’s all about the money.”

Trustees, many appointed by the governor, by law are required to oversee the foreclosure process fairly and without bias.

Before the change, banks were required to file original loan documents, and homeowners had the right to challenge a bank before a judge.

David Migoya: 303-954-1506 or dmigoya@denverpost.com

Honor system for foreclosure paperwork has led to illegal Colorado seizures, lawyer surmises – The Denver Post