Saturday, May 26, 2012

Cop Booted From Force Over Fraudulently-Obtained Mortgage; Dodges Criminal Charges As Bank Fails To Follow Up On Cooperation With Prosecutors

In Naples, Florida, the Naples Daily News reports:

  • Cpl. Michael Kovar, a detective in the North Naples district who had been with the Sheriff's Office since 2000, was dismissed for inflating his salary on paperwork that allowed him to fraudulently receive a $2.2 million loan in 2007, reports show.

  • On a loan application, Kovar said he made $510,000 a year at his second job as owner of Marbella Fabrics in Bonita Springs, a figure that was not supported by information on his tax returns. The actual income from the business was about $88,000 a year, reports said.

  • Kovar later told internal investigators the application was completed by a law firm and said he signed the document without proofreading it. The Sheriff's Office economics crime unit began investigating in October 2010 after receiving a report created by JPMorgan Chase. Kovar told investigators he felt his actual income would qualify for the high mortgage. "We applied and they gave it to us, so I assumed that yes," he told investigators.

  • The investigation also revealed that Kovar, who was hoping to buy a $2.2 million home, received $300,000 in two equity loans from the home's seller based on two other properties Kovar owned. Kovar then used the $300,000 as a down payment on a $1.7 million loan. "We purchased the property with the intent on flipping it and we were hoping for the best," he told investigators.

  • Instead, he later defaulted on the loan with a loss of more than $500,000, according to the report given to the Sheriff's Office. All of his mortgages ended in foreclosure, he said.

  • Documents indicate the bank, JPMorgan Chase, did not wish to press charges or provide pertinent paperwork. The State Attorney's Office said it would not issue an arrest warrant without the bank's cooperation.

  • Kovar was fired from the Sheriff's Office in mid-March for unlawful or improper conduct on- or off-duty, and for failing to pay just debts and liabilities. His appeal was later denied, said agency spokeswoman Michelle Batten.

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