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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


JOHN F. WOOD


Contact Don Ledford, Public Affairs ● (816) 426-4220 ● 400 East Ninth Street, Room 5510 ● Kansas City, MO 64106

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html


JULY 25, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


KC WOMAN PLEADS GUILTY TO

$472,000 MORTGAGE FRAUD


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., woman pleaded guilty in federal court today to wire fraud and money laundering as part of a fraudulent mortgage transaction.


            Ida Mathis, 52, of Kansas City, pleaded guilty before U.S. District Judge Scott O. Wright this morning to the charges contained in a July 19, 2006, federal indictment.


            Mathis admitted that she and co-defendant and Larry D. Wills, 50, who resides with her, defrauded New Century Mortgage by submitting several fraudulent documents with a $472,500 loan application to purchase property at 100 W. Bannister Rd., in Kansas City. Wills pleaded guilty to the same charges on Feb. 7, 2007. Wills also pleaded guilty to claiming personal income tax refunds to which he was not entitled and filing fraudulent corporate income tax returns; those charges were contained in a separate federal indictment.


            Mathis represented to New Century Mortgage that she was employed by WB Enterprises, of which Wills is the sole owner and employee, and that her salary was $116,100 in 2000. Mathis included a fraudulent W-2 form, several fraudulent pay stubs from WB Enterprises and a fraudulent income tax return with the loan application. Mathis also included in the loan application a letter from an accountant and a verification form signed by Mathis, both fraudulently claiming that she had been making substantial monthly payments on the residence.


            As a result of these false representations, a wire transfer of $478,383 was transmitted from New Century Mortgage’s bank account in Minnesota to Chicago Title Insurance Company’s bank account in Kansas City on Aug. 14, 2001.


            Mathis and Wills admitted that they engaged in a monetary transaction involving criminally-derived property. Mathis and Wills caused the transfer of funds in the amount of $352,000 – derived from the wire fraud – from Chicago Title Company’s bank account in Kansas City to Countrywide Home Loans, Inc.’s bank account in Los Angeles, Calif., on Aug. 21, 2001.


            Mathis never made any payments on this loan; foreclosure proceedings began and the property was sold on May 21, 2003, for $142,213. As a result of this loan and subsequent foreclosure, New Century Mortgage sustained a loss of $393,484.


            Under federal statutes, Mathis could be subject to a sentence of up to 15 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $500,000. Wills could be subject to a sentence of up to 39 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine up to $2 million. Sentencing hearings will be scheduled after the completion of presentence investigations by the United States Probation Office.


            This case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney David M. Ketchmark. It was investigated by IRS-Criminal Investigation and the Federal Bureau of Investigation.


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This news release, as well as additional information about the office of the United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, is available on-line at

www.usdoj.gov/usao/mow/index.html