Friday, June 1, 2012

Among Victims Scammed By Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy Were Home Sellers Who Had Their Equity Financed Out From Under Them In Owner Financing Ripoff

In Panama City, Florida, the News Herald reports:

  • The grand jury indicted Maurice Bates for wire fraud in the nick of time, enabling a trial jury Wednesday to find him guilty of defrauding lenders out of more than $1 million.

  • The indictment was filed Dec. 6, 2011, only seven days before the statute of limitations would’ve expired. Judge Richard Smoak ruled Wednesday that a check that was cashed on Dec. 13, 2006 constituted the final act of a conspiracy to commit wire fraud after Bates’ attorney, Tonya Higgins, rested her case without calling a single witness and asked Smoak to dismiss the charge.
  • [The conspirators] defaulted on every loan they received. Most of the homes they bought have been foreclosed on, and the rest are only waiting for a final judgment. In a couple cases, the sellers agreed to loan money to the buyers and were named as defendants in foreclosure proceedings.

  • Marie Beamer is one of them. The 81-year-old Beamer took the witness stand Wednesday to tell the jury how her Realtor convinced her that it was a good idea to loan $100,000 to the group who bought her home in Bay Point in 2006.

  • She expected to receive $733 every month, but after about six months the checks stopped showing up.

  • Littleton asked Beamer what she would’ve done with that $100,000. “I would have saved it for retirement and then I wouldn’t have work today,” Beamer replied. After she said it, a juror looked down at the floor and shook her head.

  • Of the $100,000 Beamer lost, $83,000 ended up in a bank account that Bates controlled. Add that to the money skimmed off the bank loan, and Bates cleared nearly $200,000 from the deal to buy Beamer’s house. “Cases like this are about people like Marie Beamer,” [Assistant U.S. Attorney Gayle] Littleton told the jury.
For the story, see Man guilty of fraud (He faces up to 20 years in prison for mortgage scam).

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