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More real estae fraud in the news.....the flood has begun

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Certified Residential Appraiser
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Ore.: HUD Probe Uncovers Alleged Fraud

(December 4) -- The U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development has wrapped up a yearlong investigation on real estate fraud in Happy Valley, Ore., with the arrest of one man and federal charges against four others. Federal agents arrested Ryan Bonneau, a mortgage broker and loan officer, at his home in Happy Valley. He and four others appeared in federal court Nov. 22, 2002.

The federal grand jury indictment charges all five with fraudulent acts involving real estate, including using individuals to pose as prospective purchasers ("straw purchasers") to apply for property loans, preparing loan packages containing false financial information about the straw purchasers, and preparing falsely inflated appraisals in a complex scheme to defraud HUD, banks, and other lenders. The loans that were granted totaled more than $10 million.

The Oregon Association of Mortgage Brokers lent its auditing skills to the HUD investigators, says Chris Barry, president OAMB. "We looked for instances of fraud, of documents that may have been manufactured," says Barry. "We felt honored that [HUD] asked for our help."

By Paul Beakley for REALTOR Magazine Online
 
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