Cheated mortgage lenders and homeowners
Ronald Harris Jr. of Newark pleaded guilty today for his part of his foreclosure-rescue company that cheated mortgage lenders out of $10 million. The charges Harris admitted guilt to are conspiracy to commit wire fraud and money laundering.
Harris admitted to his mortgage rescue companies (Harris Capital and Skyline Capital Group) presenting loan applicants as credit worthy that were not and the mortgage lenders subsequently granted loans based on his companies’ recommendations on the straw man buyers.
Straw man scheme
The scheme was that Harris fraudulently offered help to homeowners to avoid foreclosure and repair their credit by allowing their homes to be put in the names of “straw” buyers and that the titles to their homes would be returned to them in a year, and promised this would save the homeowners’ credit scores and allow them to seek better home loans.
Behind the scenes, the straw buyers were told they would be helping save someone’s home and they would make money by selling the home back to the original homeowner in a year at a profit.
Those Harris involved in the scheme submitted loan applications with false information, some even being directed to claim they worked for Harris himself with inflated salaries.
Filing last minute liens for profit
Then, just before the closing, Harris filed liens for tens of thousands of dollars on the properties and at closings, the liens would be paid off with money obtained from the illegally obtained loans, making Harris thousands on each closing.
The overall scheme involved over $10 million in loans granted with Harris’ lien and fee totals at $1,145,993 for which he faces fines up to $1.25 million and 50 years in prison. Harris will be sentenced on September 13 according to court documents.
May 20, 2011 at 9:18 am
An agent locally was doing the same thing, albeit for much smaller profit – he's also in jail now – ironically for defrauding the US Army in his other life as a Reservist Recruiter.
Navy Chief, Navy Pride