Due to their special training, lawyers are in a unique position to conduct fraud, and real estate is no exception from the rule. In Chicago, a notoriously corrupt city, attorney Robert Lattas admitted his role in a $22.9 million mortgage fraud.
Real estate fraudsters are a dime a dozen these days, but crossing the $1 billion mark certainly makes a scheme noteworthy. In this story, they doubled that, and an Aspen home is up for seizure by the Federal Government in the case.
A former bank president at failed Oklahoma bank First State Bank of Altus is facing life in prison for his role in a massive fraud case. Paul Doughty was president and chairman of Altus, and has been convicted of 10 charges including bank fraud, conspiracy to commit bank fraud, misapplication of bank funds, making a false bank entry and unauthorized issuance of a bank loan.
Zillow and Trulia are trusted sites for real estate listings, but they also offer rental listings and tools to help you understand the cost of home ownership. But does the math they offer add up? One analysis says no.
The former owner of Cabot Investment Properties LLC, Carlton Cabot, is under fire for his role in a $17 million fraud. This is far from the first time a leading investor pleads guilty to a real estate fraud scheme.
In the multi-year scheme, Cabot took investor funds for his own personal use. The money was spent on expensive private school tuition and a luxury vacation apartment, among other lavish lifestyle expenses. Continue reading
Financial fraudsters do not only harm their direct victims. The entire economy falls victim when real estate and other financial fraud strikes.
For example, North Carolina home developer Christopher Deans pleaded guilty to a scheme where he paid other bidders at foreclosure auctions not to bid on properties, artificially lowering the price paid for the property and indirectly lowering the values of all homes in the neighborhood. Continue reading
The real estate heir to a Canadian fortune is accused of committing an atrocious murder in California. Screenwriter Blake Leibel, heir to the Canada Homes Inc. fortune from the company managed by his father. Continue reading
Former Minnesota Viking Stu Voigt and business partner Jeffrey Gardner went to trial in January for their role in a multimillion dollar real estate fraud case. They touted their firm, Hennessey Financial LLC, as an avenue for healthy real estate investment profits. Instead, it operated like a Ponzi scheme. Continue reading
San Diego businessman Courtland Gettel and Tucson attorney Jeffrey Greenberg pled guilty to a massive $33 million California fraud scheme involving wire fraud and mansions in San Diego suburbs La Jolla and Del Mar. Continue reading
Credit repair scams are nothing new, but prospective home buyers have to be particularly aware of the risks of dealing with these predatory agencies. As a general rule: if it sounds to good to be true, it probably is.
Interest rates have held near record lows for much of the last half-decade, and credit repair companies tout their services to potential borrowers looking to increase their credit score to qualify for a home loan. Continue reading
Your credit score is the most important metric in measuring your credit. Banks use your credit score like colleges use a high school GPA: it is a number that tells them how well you will do with them in the future.
A study found that about 30% of Americans were being denied a mortgage because of this one metric. Continue reading
Police in the greater Toronto area saw report after report arrive telling a similar story. Jewelry, coins, antiques, and other valuables were going missing from open houses. It didn’t take long for the tally to reach $100,000, when the police found they were dealing with a string of related robberies from a couple dubbed the “open house bandits.” Continue reading
New Orleans is home to many frightening real estate stories, but none are quite as scary as the history of the LaLaurie Mansion in the famed French Quarter. The LaLaurie Mansion has a very gruesome past, and has spooked owners out of their wits and money.
Agent safety is incredibly important, as traveling around the area to open houses, meetings, and showings can put agents in a vulnerable position. A 2014 kidnapping and murder of a real estate agent in Little Rock, Arkansas has finally come to some level of closure. Continue reading