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NEWS RELEASE

OFFICE OF THE UNITED STATES ATTORNEY

WESTERN DISTRICT OF MISSOURI


BRADLEY J. SCHLOZMAN



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



JANUARY 3, 2007

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE


KC COUNCILWOMAN INDICTED

FOR MORTGAGE FRAUD


            KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced that a Kansas City, Mo., City Councilwoman was among three co-defendants indicted by a federal grand jury today for conspiracy and wire fraud for their role in a scheme to engage in mortgage fraud.


            Saundra A. McFadden-Weaver, 47, and Emanuel M. Kind, 51, both of Kansas City, Mo., and Ricky L. Hamilton, 52, of Grandview, Mo., were charged in a seven-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City. McFadden-Weaver is a member of the Kansas City Council. Hamilton is a mortgage broker at Trinity Mortgage.


            “The message today is that these financial crimes do not pay,” Schlozman said. “The individuals who commit them are motivated by greed and avarice. But the prosecutors in this office and the federal investigatory agents who work with us will continue to attack this criminal activity with the same ferocity that we pursue drug dealers and other violent criminals.”


            Count One of the federal indictment alleges that McFadden-Weaver, Kind and Hamilton participated in a conspiracy to defraud mortgage lenders. According to the indictment, co-defendants agreed that McFadden-Weaver would obtain a loan to purchase a home at 301 S.E. Hackamore, Lee’s Summit, Mo., where Kind would reside and pay the mortgage and other expenses. McFadden-Weaver allegedly sought to obtain loans in excess of the listed sale price of the property in order to use the excess funds to rehabilitate a property at 2518 Benton Blvd., Kansas City.


            Hadden agreed to broker the loan for McFadden-Weaver, the indictment alleges, knowing that she did not intend to live in the Lee’s Summit residence and would have no responsibility for the property.


            As part of the conspiracy, co-conspirators allegedly prepared material false and fraudulent and misleading loan applications and documents in support of the loan applications, which were submitted to MILA, a mortgage lending company with its principal office in Mountlake Terrace, Washington. MILA approved the loans, based upon that false information, including Settlement Statements, Occupancy Declarations, and other supporting documents.


            On Sept. 13, 2005, despite not having seen the property, McFadden-Weaver signed a Residential New Construction Sale Contract to purchase the Lee’s Summit home for $400,000. On Sept. 27, 2005, McFadden-Weaver signed two Uniform Residential Loan Applications, applying for loans in the amounts of $320,000 and $80,000. In the loan applications and supporting documentation, McFadden-Weaver provided false information, including false income information, the false representation that she would occupy the property as her primary residence, and the false representation that she paid a down payment of $500 with her own funds.


            On Sept. 30, 2005, McFadden-Weaver closed on the loans. According to the indictment, she signed two Occupancy Declarations, one for each loan, under penalty of perjury, falsely representing that she intended to occupy the property as her primary residence.


            “Had the lender known the full truth about McFadden-Weaver’s finances or residency intentions,” Schlozman said, “she would have either never received the loan in the first place, or she would have had to pay a much higher interest rate.”


            Hamilton caused Chicago Title to pay to Trinity Mortgage a broker’s fee of $24,475 from the proceeds of the loan on Oct. 3, 2005, of which Hamilton received a commission of $21,865.


            In June 2006, McFadden-Weaver and Kind both independently sought to refinance the Lee’s Summit property in order to avoid foreclosure. “At this point,” Schlozman said, “there had been no mortgage payments made in more than five months and, according to some witnesses, no payments ever made on the property. McFadden-Weaver continued to falsely represent that she was the primary occupant of the home, even though she had not spent a day of her life there.”


            At some time between October 2005 and June 2006, McFadden-Weaver and Kind executed a contract for deed for the residence, prepared by Hamilton, in which Kind agreed to purchase the property for $430,000 in hand and $3,200 per month for the remainder of McFadden-Weaver’s life. McFadden-Weaver and Kind falsely back-dated the document, allegedly claiming that it was signed the day after the closing.


            “In the end,” Schlozman said, “the refinancing was denied, the house of cards collapsed, the bank foreclosed on the property, and the FBI moved in.”


            Counts Two through Seven of the federal indictment involve a series of fax transmissions of documents related to the two loans, and a wire transfer of money to fund the loans, between Sept. 27, 2005, and Sept. 30, 2005.


            Schlozman cautioned that the charges contained in this indictment are simply accusations, and not evidence of guilt. Evidence supporting the charges must be presented to a federal trial jury, whose duty is to determine guilt or innocence.


            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