606 count indictment allegations
Two title officers, Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard who are said to work for Lender Processing Services (LPS) are the subject of the first ever criminal charges associated with the national robo-signing scandal. Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto has filed 606 counts of allegedly directing employees to forge their names, then notarize the forged signatures so it appeared the two actually signed tens of thousands of false documents in foreclosure proceedings in Nevada between 2005 and 2008. Bail has been set for Sheppard and Trafford at $500,000 each.
According to the Wall Street Journal, a spokeswoman for LPS has confirmed that the pair works for the company, but said the company couldn’t comment further because it hadn’t been notified about the indictment. Kenneth Julian, an attorney representing the pair, also declined to comment.
Will other AGs follow suit?
The company’s official statement is, “LPS acknowledges the signing procedures on some of these documents were flawed; however, the company also believes these documents were properly authorized and their recording did not result in a wrongful foreclosure,” said an official statement from the company.”
“We’ve read the indictment, and those 606 charges are no joke. Just open it up to any page and you’ll see what was going on. A likely probability is that Nevada AG Masto is starting by going after mid-level employees, with the intent to flip up the chain,” wrote noted economist Barry Ritholtz. He also noted that it is likely that other attorneys general will follow suit.