TWO WOMEN INDICTED FOR FALSELY CLAIMING DISABILITY PAYMENTS ON MORTGAGE APPLICATIONS
BIRMINGHAM – A federal grand jury today indicted two women on charges that they fraudulently claimed on mortgage loan applications that they received monthly government disability payments, U.S. Attorney Joyce White Vance announced.
In separate indictments, the grand jury charged SHAQUINTA REANNE GATES, 29, of Birmingham, and SILVIA D. MCBRIDE, 27, of Bessemer, with one count each of mail fraud and making false statements on a mortgage application to a financial institution.
Both women are charged with falsely claiming to receive monthly Social Security Administration disability payments on loan applications they mailed to Wells Fargo. GATES applied for a mortgage loan in February 2007, and McBride in November 2007, according to their indictments. Neither woman would have been eligible to receive loans to buy houses if they had reported their true incomes on the mortgage applications, the indictments say.
The maximum sentence for each count in the indictments is 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.
The indictments seek forfeiture of the loan amounts fraudulently obtained – $74,100 from GATES and $71,000 from MCBRIDE.
The FBI and the inspector general’s offices for the Department of Housing and Urban Development and the Social Security Administration investigated the cases. Assistant U.S. Attorney Patrick Carney is prosecuting them.
This prosecution is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency task force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.
Members of the public are reminded that the indictment contains only charges. A defendant is presumed innocent of the charges and it will be the government’s burden to prove a defendant’s guilt beyond a reasonable doubt at trial.
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The Office of U.S. Attorney
Joyce White Vance
Natural Disaster Fraud Hotline
Members of the public can report fraud, waste, abuse or allegations of mismanagement involving disaster relief operations through the Hotline, toll free, at (866) 720-5721 or the Disaster Fraud e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org. Please see the News Release Justice Department Officials Raise Awareness of Disaster Fraud Hotline