Mortgage Daily

Published On: April 9, 2012
Criminal Actions
Fourth-Quarter 2011 Mortgage Litigation Index
Cases involving criminal complaints.

Case Title
Case Number
Date Filed Date of Activity Link to Story
Calvin Brainard, Mary Brainard United States of America na $95,208 Charges filed, arrests made. na na na Dec. 2011
Image Masters, Wesley A. Snyder na na $65,000,000 Defendant was sentenced to more than a decade in prison back in 2008. But in December, a Berks County, Pa., judge ordered six former employees to pay $1.4 million in restitution. na na na Dec. 2011
Khristian Munizaga na na $200,000 Defendant sentenced to 61 months in prison for allegedly racking up $200,000 in purchases using counterfeit credit cards na na na 10/21/2011
Steve Zaven Kessedjian na na $57,343 Defendant arrested for allegedly utilizing $57,343 in proceeds on one refinance transaction that were intended to pay off credit card bills for his use. The victims reportedly lost their home to foreclosure because they couldn’t afford to pay both the mortgage and the unpaid creditors. na na na Nov. 2011
Celina Villarreal na $8,000,000 Defendant pled guilty to stealing more than $8 million from the accounts held by five customers of her employer, Compass Bank na na na 10/31/2011
Danielle M. Keane United States of America U.S. District Court for the Western District of Pennsylvania $452,038 Defendant was sentenced to 33 months in prison for creating unauthorized checks and covered up her crimes by adjusting the account ledger to make it look like the money was re-credited back into the pension account, leading the pensioner to believe that there was more money in the account than there actually was. na na na 11/16/2011
Julie Phillips na na $100,000 Defendant was sentenced to 12 months in prison for embezzling $100,000 from the Citigroup Inc. subsidiary while she was a district manager in Vermont na na na 10/31/2011
Stephanie Horne na na $94,000 Defendant has pleaded guilty to lying to the U.S. Secret Service about diverting $94,000 from customer accounts in 2004 to her family and friends na na na Nov. 2011
Torlando Ramont Childress na na $377,112 Defendant sentenced to 18 months in prison for embezzling from South Carolina Community Bank na na na 10/18/2011
Ashik Ahmed Azeez na na $8,250 Defendant entered “no contest” plea to collecting illegal up-front fees through his businesses, Turbo Mortgage Modification and Turbo Solutions, in 2010. The plea agreement calls for him to spend 90 days in jail and return $8,250 to the borrowers. na na na Sept. 2011
Christopher Fox, Curtis Melone, King Harris III State of California na na Fox and Curtis arrested. na na na Dec. 2011
Christopher Johns, Allen Banks na na na Johns sentenced to 30 months prison. na na na Sept. 2011
Gary Anderson, Patrick Campion, James Doherty, Keith Goodman, Troy Kent, Craig Lipton, Henry Pessah and Laith Salma na U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California na All eight of the defendants agreed to plead guilty to bid-rigging at foreclosure auctions na na 10/28/2011 na
Gary Trafford, Gerri Sheppard State of Nevada na na The state alleges that the defendants directed and supervised a robo-signing scheme where tens of thousands of fraudulent documents were filed with the Clark County Recorder’s Office between 2005 and 2008 na na 11/15/2011 na
John Marcus Desenberg United States of America U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California $300,000 Arrested over foreclosure-rescue scheme operated through Creative Lending Solutions. na na na 21-Nov
Maria Ponce, Melissa Garcia Monterey County District Attorney Dean Flippo na $150,000 Ponce pled guilty to felony grand theft tied to a foreclosure rescue scam na na na Nov. 2011
Marien Brown State of Missouri na $265,000 Sentencing planned for operator of 1st Financial Resource LLC who pled guilty on Sept. 27 to duping 80 Hawaiian borrowers into using her foreclosure-rescue service and keeping their payments instead of passing them along to the lenders na na 8/8/2011 12/22/2011
Meghan Shaw, Jennifer Bloecker, Joseph Noel, Tracy Lawrence (died before sentencing) Nevada Attorney General’s Office Las Vegas Justice Court  na Three more indictments filed. Defendants are accused of “robo-signing.” na na 11/16/2011 11/30/2011
Robert Rose na U.S. District court for the Eastern District of California na Defendant pleaded guilty to bid-rigging in 2009 na na na 9/23/2011
Wiley C. Chandler, Andrew B. Katakis, Donald M. Parker, Anthony B. Joachim and W. Theodore Longley (10 total) United States of America U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California na Indictment of five defendants accused of scheming to rig bids at public real estate auctions from September 2008 until October 2009. They also allegedly fraudulently acquired titles to some auctioned properties and diverted money to co-conspirators. na na 12/7/2011 na
1st American Law Center, Gary Michael Bobel, Scott Thomas Spencer, Mark Andrew Spencer, Roger Trent Jones and Travis Corey Iverson na na $11,000,000 High-pressure sales tactics and “outright lies” were used to convince clients to fork over between $1,995 and $4,495 each. The defendants falsely claimed they had a team of attorneys who pre-screened clients and that they had a 98 percent success rate in obtaining modifications. Defendants pleaded guilty. na na na 12/16/2011
William Jeffrey Hutching na Court of Appeals of California, Fourth District, Division One $500,000 Defendant was convicted in connection with alleged deceitful practices related to foreclosure consulting and he was sentenced to 46 years prison. Defendant’s appeal was denied. THE PEOPLE, Plaintiff and Respondent, v. WILLIAM JEFFREY HUTCHINGS, Defendant and Appellant D057451 10/18/2011 na
Stephen Andrew Easterly and Emanuel Percival na na na Defendants arraigned for collecting between $3,500 and $7,000 from borrowers seeking to avoid foreclosures or modify their loans na na na Aug. 2011
Samantha Carter Bank of America na $2,700,000 Squatter files affidavit of adverse possession forcing servicer to take foreclosed property off the market. na na na na
Alex Soria, Sonia Rodis, and Hans Johns State of Nevada na na Defendants arrested and charged with operating a mortgage scam that preyed on elderly and distressed borrowers na na 10/27/2011 na
Alan David Tikal na Alameda County Superior Court na Owner of KATN Trust pleaded no contest and was found guilty of filing false documents and accepting advance fees on loan modifications. He was sentenced to 16 months prison plus restitution. People v. Alan David Tikal 165379A na 10/31/2011,
Aaron Hand na na $100,000,000 Indictment of defendant who was already incarcerated for mortgage fraud over trying to pay a hitman to kill one of the witnesses in his fraud trial na na 10/6/2011 na
Anthony Moya na na $269,722 Defendant pled guilty to obtaining loans for unqualified borrowers and misappropriating $269,722. Indictment against wife dismissed. na na na Dec. 2011“>
Anthony Pagilone Colorado’s 10th Judicial District Attorney’s Office na $350,000 Defendant’s trial was called off while the Pueblo District Attorney’s office changes the criminal complaint., After charges filed alleging defendant obtained a mortgage without homeowner’s knowledge, judge ruled  that the charge was filed after five-year statute of limitations expired. na na Nov. 2010 Dec. 2011
Randolph Branham, Chris Cadenhead, Jackie T. Fair, Jane M. McDonald and Larry J. Malone United States of America U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Florida $1,200,000 Defendants have pled guilty to bribery tied to Southwest Georgia Farm Credit, ACA. na na na na“>
Robert G. Cusic United States of America na $80,000 Defendant admitted that he conspired to make people believe they were being criminally investigated, mostly by the Internal Revenue Service, and his special relationship with an IRS special agent could make their problems go away at a cost of $20,000. na na na 11/28/2011“>
Welton Kalani, Stephen Balino United States of America na $227,000 Guilty convictions. na na na Dec. 2011“>
Jerry J. Williams, Thomas B. Hebble, Angel P. Guerzon, Francesco “Frank” Mileto na na na Hebble, Guerzon and Lileto sentenced in case tied to failure of Orion Bank. na na March 2011 10/26/2011
S. Pope Cleghorn Jr., Russell T. Long na na $2,800,000 Cleghorn was senteced to 6 years for accepting kickbacks to approve two loans for $2.8 million. Long was also sentenced. na na na 11/18/2011
Joseph W. Traxler United States of America U.S. District Court for the District of Minnesota $20,000,000 Centennial Mortgage and Funding CFO pleads guilty. na na na 10/27/2011
Gregory T. Smith, Roger Saunders na na $2,165,043 Smith was sentenced to 30 months in prison for fraudulent loan documents, forging signatures, and falsifying title insurance policies. Saunders entered guilty plea. na na na 9/22/2011
Alma Preciado Roger and Lourdes Vales na $350,000 After pleading guilty, defendant fled to Mexico. She was located and flown back to the U.S. and jailed in September. na na na Sept. 2011
Andrew Hamilton Williams Jr., Michael Anthony Hickson, Isaac Jerome Smith, Alvita Karen Gunn, Carole Nelson and Charlotte Melissa Josephine Hardmon United States of America U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland $78,000,000 Defendants Williams, Hickson, Smith and Gunn were convicted of running a fraudulent investment business and operating a Ponzi scheme. Nelson and Hardmon have pleaded guilty in the case. na na na 11/10/2011
David A. Nilsen, Manoel Errico United States of America U.S. District Court for the Northern District of California $69,828,833 Guilty plea for Nilsen, who founded Cedar Funding. na na na 10/24/2011
Matthew Kent, David Rubin, Joshua Gould na na $1,200,000 Kent pleaded guilty to convincing a retired investor to put up $1.2 million to be used as collateral for operations in return for monthly interest payments. But the funds were used for operating expenses, personal expenses and investments.  na na na 11/21/2011“>
Metropolitan Grapevine LLC, Andrew H. Williams, Laveda Whitfield Maryland Attorney General Douglas Gansler U.S. District Court for the District of Maryland $55,000 Trial began on a cease-and-desist order for an alleged Ponzi scheme na na 11/1/2011 11/1/2011
Nicodemo S. Scarfo, Salvatore Pelullo (13 total) United States of America U.S. District Court for the District of New Jersey na Indictment unsealed. Alleged crime family extracted millions of dollars from FirstPlus Financial Group Inc. na na na 11/1/2011
Wesley Alvin Snyder, Sydney Snyder State of Pennsylvania na $28,675,731 Judgment entered agasint OPFM president and spouse. na na na Dec. 2011
Monroe L. Beachy United States of America U.S. District Court for the Northern District of Ohio $16,800,000 Defendant indicted over allegations he defrauded nearly 2,700 investors through his company, A&M Investments. U.S. District Judge Benita Pearson entered a “not guilty” plea on behalf of defendant. na na 9/14/2011 10/27/2011
Ebrahim Shabudin, Thomas Yu na na na Defendants indicted in connection with United Commercial Bank’s failure by  conspiring to commit securities fraud, falsifying corporate books and records, and lying to auditors na na na na
Mark Alan Helsing na na $6,900,000 Defendant was sentenced to 15 years prison for stealing $6.9 million from 12 investors in a Ponzi and real estate fraud scheme. His companies were Sea View Investments, HLHS Financial Services Inc., Foothill Realty and Sea View Mortgage. na na na 12/16/2011
Larry K. Shackelford na na na Guilty plea. na na na Dec. 2011
Manuel Garcia United States of America U.S. District Court for the District of New Mexico $585,244 Guilty plea from owner of Keyworth Mortgage Funding Group for deceiving First Community Bank. United States of America, Plaintiff, vs. Manuel Garcia, Defendant 1:11-cr-01530-BB 6/7/2011 10/14/2011
Donna Shebetich na na $7,000,000 Defendant was sentenced to 72 months prison for lying about Metropolitan Savings Bank’s delinquent loans. na na na 11/18/2011
John Andrew Portik na St. Lucie County Circuit Court na After pleading no contest to making bomb threat against American Home Mortgage Servicing employee, defendant filed civil suit against servicer  over allegations of defamation, abuse of process and intentional infliction of emotional distress. na na 9/15/2011 na
Matthew Skinner na U.S. District Court for the District of South Carolina na Defendant pled guilty to to personally accepting payments on mortgage loans na na na 10/27/2011
Rocky Prasad, Prestige Loans Corp. na Santa Clara County Superior Court $66,000 Defendant pled guilty to operating Prestige without a lending or business license, stealing up-front costs of $66,000 from two borrowers and falsely advertising on Prestige’s website a successful 20-year history. na na na 11/21/2011
Joshua Brown, John Sweetland, Brian Arrington, Brian Frank, Linda Defeo and Bruce Namenson na Suffolk Superior Court $12,500,000, Brown was convicted, co-defendants pleaded guilty. Sentencing was scheduled for Nov. 10. na na na 11/10/2011
Daniel J. Nichter na Franklin County (Ohio) $26,000 Guilty plea. na na Dec. 2010 Nov. 2011
Royce Lee Newcomb United States of America U.S. District Court for the Eastern District of California $2,900,000 Defendant was sentenced to 70 months in prison for allegedly operating a $2.9 million Ponzi scheme, marketing foreclosure rescue services through Paradigm Foreclosure Specialists, collecting between $1,300 and $3,800 from distressed borrowers and filing serial bankruptcy petitions without supporting documentation na na na 9/29/2011
David Findel na na $11,994,000 Defendant sentenced to 2 years  in prison for bankruptcy fraud following a 63-month sentence for mortgage and secondary fraud. na na na 12/12/2011
Moss Adams Meridian Mortgage King County Superior Court $150,000,000 Defendant is accused of issuing fraudulent audit reports, which allowed a ponzi scheme to continue na na 12/5/2011 12/5/2011

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