Additional Defendant charged in metropolitan money store mortgage fraud scheme

July 17, 2008

Greenbelt, Maryland - A criminal information was filed today charging Richard Allison, age 36, of Camp Springs, Maryland with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud, in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme which falsely promised to help homeowners facing foreclosure keep their homes and repair their damaged credit, announced United States Attorney for the District of Maryland Rod J. Rosenstein.

According to the criminal information, in October 2005, Richard Allison became employed by the Metropolitan Money Store and provided legal services to Joy Jackson, her husband Kurt Fordham, Jennifer McCall, her husband Clifford McCall, their companies and others. The information alleges that from December 2005 through June 2007, Allison conspired with Jackson, Fordham, the McCalls, and others, operating through several companies, including the Metropolitan Money Store which was controlled by Jackson and Jennifer McCall, in a scheme which fraudulently promised to help homeowners avoid foreclosure, keep their homes and repair their damaged credit, by directing the homeowners to allow title to their homes to be put in the names of third party purchasers (the straw buyers) for a one year period, during which time the conspirators would help the homeowners obtain more favorable mortgages, improve their credit rating and eventually return title to their homes to them. Allison and his co-conspirators told the homeowners that the equity withdrawn from the properties would be used to pay the mortgage and expenses on their homes and to repair their credit.

In addition, the information alleges that Allison and his co-conspirators: acted as straw buyers for the loans used to acquire the homeowners’ properties; made false statements as to the personal and financial information of the straw buyers on loan documents so they could qualify for mortgages; obtained fraudulently inflated loans on the properties in the straw buyers names; stripped away the bulk of the homeowners equity proceeds and converted that money to their own personal use; and stopped making the mortgage payments on the homes, resulting in the homes being foreclosed upon. According to the information, Allison and his co-conspirators spent the money from the mortgage loan proceeds: to pay monthly mortgage payments on properties already purchased; to pay their personal expenses; and on cash diversions to themselves.

According to the charging document, in March 2006, Allison agreed to be a straw purchaser for two properties; completed and signed mortgage and other loan documents for those properties which contained false financial and personal information; and received a $10,000 check for each of the two transactions.

Joy Jackson, age 40; her husband, Kurt Fordam, age 38, of Ft. Washington, Maryland; Jennifer McCall age 46; her husband, Clifford McCall, age 47; McCall’s daughter, Chandra Jones, age 30; Wilbur Ballesteros age 32, all of Lanham, Maryland; Kurt Fordham’s sister Katisha Fordham, age 35, of Washington, DC; Ronald Chapman, age 33 of Washington, DC, are charged in a related indictment with conspiracy to commit mail and wire fraud and 15 counts of mail fraud to obtain money and property from homeowners and lenders through their “foreclosure reversal” scheme. Jackson and Kurt Fordham are also charged with six counts of money laundering and Jennifer McCall, Clifford McCall and Chandra Jones are each charged with one count of money laundering. No trial date has been set.

Allison faces a maximum sentence of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for the conspiracy. No court appearance has been scheduled.

A criminal information is not a finding of guilt. An individual charged by criminal information is presumed innocent unless and until proven guilty at some later criminal proceedings.

United States Attorney Rod J. Rosenstein thanked the Federal Bureau of Investigation, U.S. Secret Service, Internal Revenue Service - Criminal Investigation and the Maryland Department of Labor, Licensing and Regulation for their investigative work. Mr. Rosenstein commended Assistant United States Attorney James A. Crowell IV, who is prosecuting the case.


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