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April 27, 2012

12 million dollar mortgage fraud scheme indicted

Prosecutor Ron O'Brien announces today that the Franklin County Grand Jury has returned indictments on eight individuals involved in a large scale mortgage scheme. The defendants were indicted for a variety of fraud-related offenses including (RICO) Engaging in a Pattern of Corrupt Activity, Theft, Money Laundering, Receiving Stolen Property, and Forgery. After a lengthy investigation, it was discovered that the fraud operation was orchestrated by Nathan Orms and Charles Kasbee, Jr., doing business as Platinum Mortgage, Edison Mortgage, Prime Real Estate and other d/b/a's. During the period between 2003 and 2006 more than 22 fraudulent mortgage loans were obtained resulting in the issuance of more than $12,000,000.00 of fraudulent loan proceeds. Over $2,590,000.00 of those fraudulent proceeds were received and laundered through a variety of individual and business bank accounts owned or associated with Orms, Kasbee and other co-defendants. Most of the properties ultimately wound up in foreclosure, resulting in extensive losses to the lenders. Nineteen central Ohio properties were involved. The average loan obtained by the defendants exceeded $500,000.00.

Fraudulent appraisals, false loan applications, forged powers of attorney and fraudulent closing documentation were utilized in this complex scheme. Six others were indicted together with Orms and Kasbee, including a realtor as well as an owner of a local title agency. Also utilized in the scheme were 15 straw buyers, whose credit was used to acquire the loans. Others involved included local mortgage brokers, appraisers and notaries. Further indictments and/or plea arrangements are anticipated.

The investigation was conducted by members of the Central Ohio Mortgage Fraud Task Force which include the members of the Franklin County Prosecutor's Office, Upper Arlington Police Department, the Ohio Attorney General's Office and other federal, state and local law enforcement agencies.

O'Brien stated, "Such an extensive and ongoing fraudulent mortgage scheme has a significant detrimental impact on the neighborhoods and real estate markets where it was perpetrated, and ultimately on the local economy as a whole."

Source: Franklin County Prosecutor's Office

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