5 Accused in $8.8M Mortgage Fraud Ring

     DALLAS (CN) – Federal prosecutors accuse five people of running an $8.8 million mortgage fraud scheme in the Dallas area.

     Facing conspiracy, bank fraud and wire charges are Fredrick Lee Moore, 38, of Dallas; Fredrick Barnard Lynch, 39, of DeSoto; Randell Dean Miller, 43, of Arlington; Halid Amer, 39, of Grand Prairie; and Theresa Fey Barsema, 48, of Mesa, Ariz.
     Miller, Moore and Lynch appeared before a federal magistrate judge last week. Amer is expected to appear today (Monday), and Barsema will appear before a magistrate in Arizona.
     All are charged with at least one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud or bank fraud. Moore and Barsema are also charged with engaging in a monetary transaction with criminally derived property.
     According to the indictment, Moore was involved with Empirical Investments, a real estate entity. Lynch was involved with ADJ Mortgage, PLLC, also a real estate entity. Miller was involved with Benchmark Mortgage and Supreme Lending; Amer with Accurate Investments, and Barsema was a licensed escrow officer who worked at First American Title Insurance, Alamo Title Co., First Commitment Title, First Land Title and Capital Title of Texas, in Flower Mound.
     Prosecutors say that from April 2005 to April 2007, the defendants found single-family homes for sale in the Dallas-Fort Worth area, negotiated sales prices with sellers and then fraudulently received loans by submitting false invoices to title companies, claiming that the defendants had provided consulting or legal services.
     The defendants had sellers sign an “authorization for disbursement of proceeds,” which allowed the conspirators to take part of the loan without disclosing it required, the government says.
     They also are accused of paying people to act as straw purchasers.
     “The conspirators concealed from the lenders the true status, financial condition and intentions of the named borrowers, knowing that loans would not likely be approved if the lender knew the true role, credit worthiness, and risk of each straw borrower,” prosecutors said in a statement
     The alleged conspiracy involved 23 fraudulent residential property loan closings, for $8.8 million, prosecutors said. Properties listed in the indictment are in Duncanville, Dallas, Desoto, Colleyville, Plano and Irving.
     In convicted, the defendants each faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each conspiracy and each bank fraud count. Each wire fraud count carries a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine. The money laundering count carries up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine, or twice the amount of the criminally derived property received.

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