News and Press Releases

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


Nov. 19, 2010

MORTGAGE FRAUD DEFENDANT GETS 14 YEARS IN FEDERAL PRISON

KANSAS CITY, KAN. – Maurice Ragland, 36, formerly of Lee’s Summit, Mo., has been sentenced to 14 years in federal prison on mortgage fraud charges, U.S. Attorney Barry Grissom said today.

Ragland pleaded guilty to one count of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. In his plea, he admitted that in 2003 and 2004 he conspired with co-defendant Wildor Washington, Jr., and others to obtain mortgage loans by submitting inflated property appraisals and other false information to lenders.

The conspirators targeted borrowers with low incomes and little knowledge of the real estate industry. They urged borrowers to apply for real estate loans that were processed through various entities the conspirators controlled including Heritage Financial Investments, Legacy Enterprises, Atlantic Mortgage, Inc., T.E.R.M. Appraisers, the Real Estate Group, J.T.F. Enterprises, Liberty Escrow and AMSTAR Mortgage.

Many of the real estate appraisals submitted by Ragland and the conspirators contained inflated property values and forged signatures of licensed appraisers whose identities had been stolen. In addition, Ragland and other conspirators acted as home buyers and submitted loan applications containing false income and asset information as well as false information about the appraiser of the property and the intended use of the property.

On the basis of the false information, lenders issued loans. For instance, on Nov. 6, 2003, $145,011 was electronically transferred from the Bank of New York City to UMB Bank in Olathe, Kan., on the basis of fraudulent information submitted by Ragland and co-defendants Wildor Washington, Jr., and Scott Alexander.

Co-defendants include:
Wildor Washington, Jr., who was sentenced to 200 months.
Terrell Ford, who was sentenced to 135 months.
Ryan Miller, who was sentenced to 135 months.
Ron Brown, who was sentenced to 121 months.
Les Saunders, who was sentenced to 108 months.
Greg Stevenson, who was sentenced to 97 months.
Terrence Cole, who was sentenced to 37 months.
Kara E. Robinson-Franks, who was sentenced to 36 months.
Victoria Bennett, who was sentenced to 24 months.
Scott Alexander, who was sentenced to a year and a day.
Emma Holmes, who was sentenced to a year and a day.
Amanda Childs, who was sentenced to a year and a day.
Eryc Reese, who is awaiting sentencing.
Lydell Flowers, who is awaiting sentencing.

Grissom commended the Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigations Division, the Johnson County Sheriff’s Department, the Overland Park Police Department, the U.S. Secret Service’s Financial Crimes Task Force, Assistant U.S. Attorney Marietta Parker and U.S. Attorney Chris Oakley for their work on the case.

 


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