5 Bagged In St. Paul-Area Alleged Mtg Scam; Cal. Man's Stolen ID Used In Scoring $1.8M In Loans, Sham Entity Used To Pull Cash From Deals: Prosecutor
In Hennepin County, Minnesota, the Minneapolis Star Tribune reports:
- Hennepin County prosecutors have charged five people with felony racketeering in an alleged mortgage fraud and money laundering scheme centered on a St. Paul-based mortgage brokerage
- In several cases, part of the proceeds at closing were paid over to "Cire Building," supposedly for improvements negotiated as part of the sale. The complaint says that Cire was a "sham entity" created by [alleged ripoff artist Eric] Bernard.
- The scheme also involved stealing the identity of a California man, creating a false paper trail to make him appear to be a legitimate buyer, and using that identity to obtain $1.8 million in loans on three properties, according to the complaint.
For the story, see Five charged in mortgage fraud, money laundering scam (Hennepin County prosecutors allege the group conspired to steal millions through phony loans).
(1) Charged were Eric Bernard (also known as Eric Shirpiro), 31, of Shakopee, Stacey Harrold, 42, of Burnsville, David Schoenhofen, 42, of Prior Lake, Michael Hudalla, 44, of Mendota Heights, and Nicole Marie Schmidt (also known as Nicole Origas), 33, formerly of Lake Crystal.