News and Press Releases

Blue springs woman among nine defendants indicted in $11 million mortgage fraud scheme

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE
November 22, 2010

KANSAS CITY, Mo. – Beth Phillips, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri, announced today that a Blue Springs, Mo., woman was among nine defendants indicted by a federal grand jury for their roles in an $11 million mortgage fraud scheme.

Leann Raejeana Turner, 41, of Blue Springs, Bruce Q. Williams, 41, of Kansas City, Kan., Carole L. Colson, 68, of Lake Worth, Fla., Anthony E. Hicks, 38, of Little Rock, Ark., Mark P. Billey, 37, of Buena Park, Calif., Zelda Ann Jackson, 37, of Newbury Park, Calif., and James Arthur Nash, Jr., 40, Arman Nshanian, 24, and Linda Joyce Henry Johnson, 62, all of Corona, Calif., were charged in a 35-count indictment returned by a federal grand jury in Kansas City, Mo., on Friday, Nov. 19, 2010.

The federal indictment alleges that all of the co-defendants participated in a mortgage fraud conspiracy from early 2005 through Aug. 4, 2006. Mortgage lenders made approximately $11,092,886 in loans on 16 residential properties in Lee’s Summit, Liberty, Blue Springs, Parkville, Independence and Oak Grove, Mo. From that total, unbeknownst to the lenders, buyers allegedly received approximately $2,006,845 from the loan proceeds.

Turner and Jackson were real estate agents. Williams and Hicks were mortgage loan officers. Colson was a real estate broker. Nash, Billey, Nshanian and Johnson each purchased properties and Jackson assister her husband in the purchase of a property.

According to the indictment, defendants submitted fraudulent mortgage loan applications to purchase residential properties at inflated prices. The purchases were allegedly structured in such a way that the buyers would receive $100,000 cash back from the loan proceeds. The buyers would obtain mortgage loans in excess of the actual sales prices to be paid to the seller, the indictment says, in order to receive the difference between the actual sales price and the inflated loan amount.

Turner and Colson allegedly listed and arranged for the sale of the homes at inflated prices and solicited buyers. In order to obtain the loan proceeds without the lenders’ knowledge, the indictment says, the buyers created fictitious businesses that issued false invoices that claimed the businesses had provided work and services for which they were entitled to receive loan proceeds.

In addition to the conspiracy, Turner is charged with 31 counts of wire fraud and one count of money laundering. Williams is charged with her in 18 counts of wire fraud. Other defendants are also charged in various wire fraud counts.

Phillips 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 FBI and IRS-Criminal Investigation.

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