Real estate appraiser David C. Christian, age 62, of Catonsville, Maryland pleaded guilty today to conspiracy to commit wire fraud.
The guilty plea was announced by United States Attorney for the District of
Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein; Special Agent in Charge Richard A. McFeely of the
Federal Bureau of Investigation; Inspector General Steve A. Linick of the
Federal Housing Finance Agency; Acting Postal Inspector in Charge Peter R.
Rendina of the U.S. Postal Inspection Service—Washington Division.
According to his guilty plea, Christian appraised a number of properties on
behalf of purchasers who were seeking financing through a mortgage brokerage
company operating out of an office on
Gough Street in Baltimore. From April 2004 to April 2008, at the request of a
co-conspirator who controlled the mortgage brokerage company, Christian prepared at least 17
fraudulent appraisals for $4,306,950 in loans originated at the mortgage company. Christian falsified the appraisals
by using fake photos and descriptions of the properties, misrepresenting the
condition of the properties, and used inappropriate comparable properties. The total loss for the
17 loans amounted to $2,661,366.
In March and June 2007, Christian used his co-conspirator as the mortgage
broker to refinance property that he and his wife owned in Catonsville.
Christian submitted false appraisals that inflated the property value and caused
another appraiser to sign the documents to avoid the obvious conflict of
performing an appraisal on his own property. With Christian’s knowledge, his
co-conspirator processed the loan in Christian’s wife’s name, falsifying her
income and employment, as well as the
balance in the couple’s bank account and misrepresented other information. The
loans were funded by another mortgage company, and Christian and his wife
eventually defaulted on the loan, resulting in a loss of nearly $140,000.
Christian faces a maximum sentence of 20 years in prison followed by three
years of supervised release. U.S. District Judge James K. Bredar scheduled his
sentencing for October 18, 2012, at 1:00 p.m.
The Maryland Mortgage Fraud Task Force was established to unify the agencies
that regulate and investigate mortgage fraud and promote the early detection,
identification, prevention and prosecution of mortgage fraud schemes. This case,
as well as other cases brought by members of the Task Force, demonstrates the
commitment of law enforcement agencies
to protect consumers from fraud and promote the integrity of the credit markets.
Information about mortgage fraud prosecutions is available www.justice.gov/usao/md/Mortgage-Fraud/index.html
This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial
Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency
Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and
proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force
includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory
authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who,
working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil
enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the
federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and
prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for
those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and
financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein commended the FBI, Federal Housing Finance Agency—Office of
Inspector General, and U.S. Postal Inspection Service. Mr. Rosenstein thanked
Assistant U.S. Attorney Gregory R. Bockin and Special Assistant U.S. Attorney
Stephen Learned, assigned from the Federal Housing Finance Agency’s Office of
Inspector General, who are prosecuting the case.
As an American, I have witnessed many events in our nation's history. Some of them great like placing a man on the moon. Some of them were dark and shameful events. No matter what happened, it is the people that make this nation great. Each looking to the future with optimism and looking to improve this nation for all. The United States is a great and wonderful nation and her people are her best asset. As Americans, we need to stand together and let our voices be heard.
Saturday, June 30, 2012
Catonsville Real Estate Appraiser Pleads Guilty in Scheme to Obtain Over $4.3 Million in Fraudulent Mortgage Loans
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