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June 19, 2012

Branson Realtor Sentenced for $391,000 Mortgage Fraud

SPRINGFIELD, MO—David M. Ketchmark, Acting United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Branson, Missouri real estate agent has been sentenced in federal court for her role in a $391,519 mortgage fraud scheme.

Vickie Kay Lind, 48, of Branson, was sentenced by U.S. District Judge Richard E. Dorr on Monday, June 18, 2012, to 18 months in federal prison without parole. The court also ordered Lind to pay $70,426 in restitution.

On October 28, 2011, Lind pleaded guilty to participating in a wire fraud conspiracy and a money laundering conspiracy from August 1 to October 3, 2005. In addition to the two conspiracies, Lind pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering.

Lind, a realtor who did business as My Realty Company LLC, defrauded First Magnus Financial Corporation in Overland Park, Kansas, by submitting fraudulent documentation in order to obtain $391,519 in mortgage loans for an Ozark, Missouri, residence.

In order to obtain the loans, Lind provided false documentation that an individual was leasing the property for $3,500 per month. First Magnus Financial Corporation approved the buyer's loan application on the strength of the $3,500 per month lease agreement. First Magnus would not have approved the loan application without this lease agreement, because the buyer's debt to income ratio was too high.

Without the lender's knowledge, Lind obtained $70,000 from the loan proceeds, while the seller of the property only received approximately $310,000. Lind submitted fraudulent invoices for work allegedly performed by two companies, Elite Home Alliance and Gold Pointe Homes. In reality, neither company performed any work to justify these payments. Elite Home Alliance, Lind's own company, received $25,000, which Lind used for her own benefit. Gold Pointe Homes received $45,000, which was used to repay a loan made by a friend in Arizona to the buyer, which allowed Lind to live in the residence rent free, until it could be sold for a profit. Lind also received the real estate commissions on the sale of the home.

Lind declared bankruptcy in October 2005. The buyer could not make the monthly mortgage payments, nor could he sell the residence, and the property went into foreclosure. As a result, First Magnus Financial Corporation lost $70,426.

This case was prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael S. Oliver. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the FBI.

Source: United States Attorney's Office for the Western District of Missouri

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