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Fees Altered by Brokers on Closing Documents

ALG employees arrested

Sept. 11, 2009

By staff

Three California mortgage brokers have been arrested for doctoring up loan documents after they were signed -- and boosting their fees in the process.

One of the three brokers was Michael McConville, a sales manager for ALG Inc. in Los Angeles, according to a statement from California Attorney General Edmund G. Brown Jr. McConville was arrested yesterday.

Two ALG loan originators, Garrett Holdridge and Alan Ruiz, were also arrested.

The three face 44 criminal charges including forgery, grand theft and elder abuse.

The defendants allegedly lured prospective borrowers with false promises of low rates and fees.

After dozens of borrowers closed on their loans, the trio "doctored the loan documents, forged borrowers' signatures and slipped in hefty fees that were never disclosed," according to the state. Key documents were replaced with fraudulent ones. Borrowers only learned of the overcharges and forged signatures after the transactions were closed.

The scam involved brokers fees ranging from $20,000 to as much as $57,000. In all, the defendants allegedly collected $950,000 from more than 70 borrowers. Around $30 million in loans were involved

"This was not some clerical error but a criminal conspiracy to steal nearly $1 million dollars from borrowers," Brown said in the announcement.

McConville and his brother Sean McConville were also sued by the state for alleged participation in a property tax reassessment scam, according to the news release.

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