Mortgage Scams and Scammers

Mortgage Scams and Scammers

Read about these home financing fraud and the scammers behind them, caught by the FBI.

Are you a victim of these mortgage scammers?  Check their names below and read the full reports from the FBI to learn about these home financing scammers.  Learn how to avoid being scammed in the future by seeing how the scammers operate!

The Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a new telephone hotline:

FBI Mortgage Fraud Hotline

to receive complaints from the public regarding mortgage fraud matters. The FBI considers mortgage fraud to be a significant and growing crime problem which often affects unknowing consumers, and which has a direct impact upon the overall economic health of the United States. The collapse of the subprime mortgage market, as well as the recent economic downturn, has been met with a corresponding increase in fraud and schemes connected to mortgages and related transactions. The establishment of this hotline will aid the FBI and the community by providing a direct line of alert should mortgage fraud be suspected.

For information about how to avoid a mortgage scam, see this page!

  1. Five Indicted and Arrested in Mortgage Fraud Scam - 04/20/09, Alexandria, VA - Kenyetta N. Graham, age 25, of Melrose, N.Y., pled guilty today in United States District Court to federal wire fraud charges in connection with a scheme to defraud the Red Cross out of funds earmarked for victims of Hurricane Katrina.

  2. PROMOTER OF HIGH-YIELD INVESTMENT SCHEME SENTENCED TO FEDERAL PRISON - On April 8, 2009, Dustin Michael Thompson, 30, and Sean Paul McLaughlin, 29, were indicted on four counts of Wire Fraud and one count of Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud as a result of their involvement in a cash back mortgage fraud scheme.  Thompson was arrested on March 13, 2009 in Las Vegas on a criminal complaint and is detained pending trial. McLaughlin received a summons to appear in federal court on the charges. The case against the pair is based on an investigation which alleges that from October 19, 2005, through June 5, 2007, they conspired to commit mortgage fraud in the Phoenix area. Thompson and McLaughlin submitted mortgage loan applications on behalf of buyers, that included friends and family members, containing false information. Following the funding of the loans, Thompson and McLaughlin received cash back that they used for personal expenses and  to perpetuate the scheme. Most of the homes purchased during the conspiracy have foreclosed.

  3. Jury Finds Miami Man Guilty in Bank Fraud Conspiracy - 04/09/09, According to court documents, the defendants and other co-conspirators used fee-based web databases to search for potential victims with large balances in home equity line of credit (HELOC) accounts.  This information included name, address, date of birth, and social security number.  Once the conspirators identified a victim they used other online databases to obtain information commonly used in security questions, such as the victim's mother's maiden name.  The conspirators then obtained credit reports on the victims in order to verify personal information and account balances. Armed with the victim's personal information, the conspirators called the victim's financial institution, impersonated the victim, and transferred the majority of the available money from the HELOC account into an account from which a wire transfer could be sent.  The conspirators would then wire transfer hundreds of thousands of dollars to domestic or overseas accounts controlled by members of the conspiracy. 

  4. Virginia Man Convicted in Mortgage Fraud Scheme - 02/19/09, Alexandria, Va. - Richard A. Forde, age 50, formerly of Great Falls, Virginia, was convicted by a jury yesterday on charges of conspiracy, bankruptcy fraud, and bank fraud. Dana J. Boente, Acting United States Attorney for the Eastern District of Virginia; W. Clarkson McDow, Jr., United States Trustee; and, Joseph Persichini, Jr., Assistant Director in Charge of the FBI Washington Field Office, made the announcement. Forde faces a maximum penalty of 40 years in prison, five years supervised release, and a fine of approximately $9.7 million when he is sentenced on May 15, 2009.

  5. Mortgage Brokerage Company Owner and Operator Sentenced in Connection with Mortgage Fraud Scheme - 12/19/08, Alexandria, VA - Gohar J. Mirza, age 29, of Annandale, Virginia, was sentenced today to 63 months in prison, followed by a term of three years supervised release, and ordered to pay more than $3,000,000 in restitution. Mirza pled guilty on September 23, 2008 to conspiring to commit mail and wire fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme.

  6. Brothers Sentenced in Million Dollar Mortgage Fraud Conspiracy - 12/05/08, Alexandria, VA - Mohammed Rababeh, 29, of Vienna, Virginia, and Ahmed Rababeh, 31, of Haymarket, Virginia, were sentenced today for their roles in a conspiracy to commit bank fraud. U.S. District Judge Claude M. Hilton sentenced Mohammed Rababeh to 24 months in prison and Ahmed Rababeh to 18 months in prison. The two men had pleaded guilty on September 24, 2008, to conspiracy charges arising from a fraud scheme involving several real estate mortgage loans they and their co-conspirators obtained between April 2004 and September 2006.

  7. Fairfax Man Pleads Guilty in $33 Million Mortgage Fraud Case - 11/13/08, Alexandria, VA - Vijay K. Taneja, age 47, of Fairfax, Virginia, pleaded guilty to one count of conspiracy to commit money laundering in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme involving his company, Financial Mortgage, Inc., ("FMI"), which originated and sold mortgages on residential properties in the Washington, D.C., metropolitan area.


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