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June 10, 2011

Former Lee's Summit Man Sentenced For Multi-Million Dollar Mortgage,Investment Fraud Schemes

KANSAS CITY, Mo. Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Lee's Summit, Mo., man was sentenced in federal court today for two separate fraud schemes an investment fraud scheme and a nearly $2.7 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Matthew Tucker, 33, a California resident who is formerly of Lee's Summit, was sentenced by U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan to five years in federal prison without parole, which is the statutory maximum penalty. The court also ordered Tucker to pay $982,534 in restitution to victims of the investment fraud scheme, as well as $84,137 in restitution to victims of the mortgage fraud scheme. The court also ordered Tucker to forfeit to the government $1.1 million.

On March 18, 2011, Tucker pleaded guilty to mail fraud, which was part of an investment fraud scheme that resulted in a loss of approximately $1 million to victim investors. In a separate and unrelated case, Tucker pleaded guilty on July 27, 2009, to wire fraud, which was part of a mortgage fraud scheme in which he and others caused a number of mortgage lenders to provide financing for 45 loans involving 36 different properties, resulting in $2,695,883 in loss.

Investment Fraud Scheme

By pleading guilty to the investment fraud scheme, Tucker admitted that he contacted a group of individuals, including a group of investors known as the Bunker Group, about investing in the foreign exchange currency markets. Tucker provided the Bunker Group investors with false monthly statements which contained inflated and fictitious profit and loss figures. Tucker also created false and fictitious tax statements for the Bunker Group, which falsely indicated the investors were making a substantial profit on their investment.

Tucker caused the investors in the Bunker Group to provide a substantial amount of their personal funds, in some instances liquidating their 401(k) personal retirement accounts. Tucker did not invest all the Bunker Group funds in the foreign exchange currency markets as indicated, but instead spent a substantial amount of the funds for his own personal expenditures.

Mortgage Fraud Scheme

Tucker was employed as a mortgage broker at various entities during the time frame of the offense. While Tucker was working at Empire Lending, an individual who was interested in purchasing duplexes as investment properties backed out of the deal. Tucker, believing that the duplexes would be a good investment, decided that he would prepare the loan paperwork to purchase the properties for himself.

Tucker, knowing that the loans would not be approved with his financial situation, created phony W-2s, pay stubs, rental lease agreements, and bank statements to support the inflated income and asset numbers on the phony loan applications. Utilizing this scheme, Tucker purchased a number of rental properties.

Tucker formed a company called KAE Management, which was created to manage the rental properties for Tucker and other individuals whom he assisted in obtaining rental properties utilizing the same scheme. Tucker created false and fraudulent loan applications for several of his extended family members, including his in-laws. In order to qualify them for loans, Tucker falsely inflated their salary on the loan applications. In several of the loan applications, Tucker falsely indicated that the borrower worked for KAE Management making a substantial salary. Additionally, at the time of closing, the HUD-1 forms often included a substantial payment of the loan proceeds from the lender to KAE Construction, which was intended to be used as money to make the mortgage payments on the properties until renters could be secured.

These cases were prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Ketchmark. They were investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.

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

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