Friday, September 3, 2010

Mortgage fraud indictments in Pittsburgh; S & P Mortgage

For those who might be tempted to inflate their income or asset numbers in order to obtain a residential mortgage, the following story is a reminder of how bad an idea it is to engage in such deception:
James C. Platts, a one-time Pine home developer currently living at a federal halfway house after a 30-month prison term for tax evasion, and Deean Haggerty, a former broker with S&P Mortgage of Warrendale, were accused of arranging fraudulent mortgages for unqualified buyers.

Apparently an attorney was involved also, but was not named in the indictment.

The fraudulent activity involved several individual lies:
The charges match a pattern described three years ago when Mr. Platts and his associates were first mentioned in the Post-Gazette. He would locate properties in or close to mortgage default, arrange a buyer who often earned little or sometimes no money, then, using Mr. Haggerty's office, submitted inflated or occasionally fictitious income statements. In several instances, he deposited money into a prospective homebuyer's bank account, as he did in the West View home sale to produce the illusion the person had savings. In some instances, according to the indictment, he would generate fraudulent documents showing the purchaser had been paying rent for several years. He is accused of doing just that in the case of 101 Governor Drive, one of the three properties named in the indictment.

The indictment involved only three properties, thus proving that no fraudulent scheme is too small to result in charges. No one is immune, including the attorneys who conduct settlements for such schemes.

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