Town Official Loses Elected Position After Copping Mortgage Fraud Plea; Used Elderly Mom As Unwitting Straw Buyer In Effort To Obtain $2M Loan
In St. Paul, Minnesota, the Pioneer Press reports:
- A White Bear Township board member has lost the seat he has held almost continuously for 36 years after pleading guilty to mortgage fraud and money laundering Monday. Richard A. Sand, 59, has yet to be sentenced but could face up to nearly five years in federal prison.
- Sand's admission came as part of a plea agreement with federal prosecutors and was made during a hearing in U.S. District Court in Minneapolis. Sand, an attorney, was initially indicted on three counts of mortgage fraud and 11 counts of money laundering. He pleaded guilty to one count each of fraud and laundering.
- According to prosecutors, Sand, along with Donald W. Krause of Plymouth and Brenda Epperly of Oak Grove, crafted a home-purchase deal on a $1.6 million house in Orono in early 2008. The next day, the home was sold to Sand's mother, Antoinette Sand, now 86, for $2.6 million.
- The loan application for the sale, totaling $2 million, grossly inflated Antoinette Sand's income and claimed she would bring about $600,000 earnest money to the closing, Sand admitted in court. The Sands had no money to bring to the closing — the $600,000 would come from two $1 million loans the trio secured from Bank of America and already sent to Epperly ahead of the closing.
For the story, see White Bear Township supervisor Richard Sand guilty of mortgage fraud (Longtime board member loses seat, faces nearly five years in federal prison).