News and Press Releases

O'Fallon man pleads guilty to fraud conspiracy

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
March 7, 2014

St. Louis, MO – JASON RAUSCHELBACH pled guilty to charges involving his conspiracy to defraud the United States and several banks through his business, The Mortgage Store, Inc., in 2008.

According to court documents, Rauschelbach was the CEO of The Mortgage Store, Inc. (TMS) and the president of Title America.   By 2008, TMS was a major mortgage brokering business with officers in four states and hundreds of employees.   The main offices were in Westport Plaza and Wentzville.   The businesses were operating at a financial deficit in 2008. TMS incurred over $600,000 in federal employment (including withholding) tax liabilities in the first three quarters of 2008 that were not paid over to the United States.   There were not sufficient funds available to fund the disbursements from TMS and, in addition, to meet all of the expenses incurred by TMS, including the delinquent employment tax liabilities. In order to meet certain expenses and, at the same time, conceal the absence of adequate funds, Rauschelbach and others at TMS caused insufficient funds checks drawn on the checking accounts of both TMS and Title America to be deposited between those accounts in such a way that the "float" concealed the true balances of each account.   The accounts were at Enterprise Bank in Clayton and at the First Bank of the Lake in Osage Beach, Missouri.   The TMS account had a negative balance of approximately $850,000 in June 2008, when the banks stopped accepting the floated checks.

In order to maintain its status as a loan correspondent for loans guaranteed by the Federal Housing Administration, TMS was required to maintain certain net worth balances that would be audited by a HUD authorized private firm and submitted to HUD by TMS.   In June 2008, Rauschelbach and others at TMS falsified information concerning the net worth of TMS to the auditor for submission to HUD.

Additionally, in June and July 2008, TMS incurred liabilities for a 401k retirement plan in effect for its employees, as well as liabilities for the health and dental insurance plans offered to its employees.   The amounts withheld from the employees’ pay checks were not paid over as required by law.

Finally, Rauschelbach received substantial distributions from TMS and Title America in 2008 despite the federal employment tax delinquencies and other unpaid liabilities, as well as the artificial balances being maintained in the TMS and Title America checking accounts.   In addition, he and others at TMS directed that TMS funds be paid on loans on properties at Tan-Tar-A Resorts in the Lake of the Ozarks, and for a ranch property in Breckenridge, Colorado.   He was a partial owner of those properties

Rauschelbach, of O’Fallon, Missouri, pled guilty to one felony count of conspiracy before United States District Judge Henry E. Autrey.   Sentencing has been set for June 2, 2014.

He now faces a maximum penalty of five years in prison and/or fines up to $250,000.   In determining the actual sentences, a Judge is required to consider the U.S. Sentencing Guidelines, which provide recommended sentencing ranges.

This case was investigated by the FBI, IRS Criminal Investigation and the Inspector General Offices of HUD and the Department of Labor. Assistant United States Attorney James E. Crowe, Jr., is handling the case for the U.S. Attorney's Office.

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