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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


AUGUST 16, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


JURY CONVICTS FORMER KC COUNCILWOMAN

OF MORTGAGE FRAUD CONSPIRACY


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – John F. Wood, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a former Kansas City Councilwoman was convicted by a federal jury today of conspiracy and wire fraud for her role in a $400,000 mortgage fraud scheme.


             Saundra A. McFadden-Weaver, 47, of Kansas City, Mo., was found guilty of conspiracy to commit wire fraud as well as six individual counts of wire fraud contained in a Jan. 3, 2007, federal indictment.


             “Saundra McFadden-Weaver testified in court that she signed her name to legal documents that were fraudulent,” Wood said. “She deliberately lied in order to obtain a $400,000 mortgage loan, in violation of federal law. This kind of mortgage fraud is a serious problem in the Kansas City area and across the country, and the U.S. Attorney's Office is committed to fighting this illegal activity. I commend the jury for sending a clear message today that mortgage fraud does not pay.”


             FBI Special Agent in Charge Monte C. Strait stated, “Mortgage fraud cases continue to dominate our national and local landscape. The FBI will investigate these matters to their fullest extent.”


            McFadden-Weaver participated in a conspiracy to defraud a mortgage lender from August or early September 2005 through August 2006. McFadden-Weaver and two co-conspirators agreed to obtain $400,000 in loans to purchase a home at 301 S.E. Hackamore, Lee’s Summit, Mo. McFadden-Weaver signed documents stating that she would repay the loans and that she would live in the residence; in reality, however, McFadden-Weaver never intended to either make any mortgage payments or to live in the house. Instead, the property was being purchased for the benefit of co-defendant Emanuel M. Kind, 52, of Kansas City, who was supposed to live in the house and pay the mortgage and other expenses.


            Kind had attempted to obtain financing to purchase the Lee’s Summit property but was rejected for a loan. He then approached McFadden-Weaver, suggesting that she take out the loan in her name. In exchange, they would seek to obtain loans in excess of the listed sale price of the property. The excess funds would be used to rehabilitate another property at 2518 Benton Blvd., Kansas City, which McFadden-Weaver hoped to purchase from her church. McFadden-Weaver had been unsuccessful in her efforts to obtain a loan to make improvements on the Benton Boulevard property. Kind, a construction contractor, agreed to make the improvements to the Benton Boulevard property in exchange for McFadden-Weaver taking out the loans for the Lee’s Summit property.


            McFadden-Weaver, Kind and co-defendant Ricky L. Hamilton, 53, of Grandview, Mo., conspired to prepare material false and misleading loan applications and supporting documents, which were submitted to MILA, a mortgage lending company in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. Among the misrepresentations, the documents also overstated McFadden-Weaver’s income and understated her liabilities.


            Hamilton, a mortgage broker at Trinity Mortgage in Grandview, agreed to broker the loan for the purchase of the Lee’s Summit residence, knowing that McFadden-Weaver did not intend to live in the residence and would have no responsibility for the property and that funds from the loans would be used to rehab the Benton Boulevard property.


            MILA approved two loans totaling $400,000 based upon that false information. Those loans were later sold to other lenders, and the property was foreclosed in August 2006.


            Following the presentation of evidence, the jury in U.S. District Court in Kansas City deliberated about seven hours over a two-day period before returning the guilty verdicts to U.S. Chief District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, Jr., ending a trial that began Monday, Aug. 13, 2007.


            On Aug. 9, 2007, Kind pleaded guilty to conspiracy and wire fraud. Hamilton pleaded guilty to the same charges on Aug. 7, 2007.


            Under federal statutes, McFadden-Weaver could be subject to a sentence of up to five years in federal prison without parole on the conspiracy count and up to 20 years in federal prison without parole on each of the wire fraud counts, plus a fine and an order of restitution. Kind and Hamilton each could be subject to a sentence of up to 25 years in federal prison without parole, plus a fine and an order of restitution. 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 Linda Parker Marshall. It was investigated by 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