Sunday, August 11, 2013

Real Estate Operator Faces Multiple Charges In Alleged Short Sale 'Flopping' Scam Involving Eleven Homes

In Columbus, Ohio, The Columbus Dispatch reports:

  • A Far North Side man is accused of orchestrating a $1.2 million mortgage-fraud scheme.

    Donald P. Landers, 42, also known as Dante Brickman, is named in a 24-count indictment that was sealed by a Franklin County judge when it was filed on July 18. The indictment was unsealed on Wednesday after Landers was arrested on a warrant in Las Vegas.

    Landers, of 2424 Shillingham Court, identified properties that were in foreclosure and negotiated short sales with the lenders to buy the properties at a much-reduced rate, according to Prosecutor Ron O’Brien.

    He said Landers used fraudulent information to convince lenders that the properties were worth “much less than market value due to poor condition, poor location or difficulty in selling.”

    Landers also is accused of recruiting so-called straw buyers to purchase the properties from his business — Great American LLC — at an inflated price, fraudulently obtaining financing for the buyers by submitting loan applications that inflated their net worth and understated their debts.

    O’Brien said down payments for the properties were funded through the loan proceeds, not the buyers’ assets. Landers’ company pocketed the difference between the low short-sale amounts and the inflated sale prices, paying a kickback to the straw buyers, he said.

    Landers is accused of using the scheme from January 2007 to January 2008 with 11 Franklin County properties, including two of his own that were in default because of nonpayment of his mortgages. Most of the loans have since gone into default and foreclosure, O’Brien said.

    Landers is charged with one count of engaging in a pattern of corrupt activity, one count of theft, 11 counts of money laundering and 11 counts of receiving stolen property.

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