cleveland appraiser faces prison following convictions on 16 counts related to $3.25 million mortgage fraud scheme
A Cleveland woman was convicted on 16 counts related to a $3.25 million mortgage fraud involving dozens of properties in Northeast Ohio, said Steven M. Dettelbach, United States Attorney for the Northern District of Ohio.
Lavon Ruderson, 42, is scheduled to be sentenced by U.S. District Judge Daniel A. Polster on Sept. 4. She faces a recommended guideline range of between 87 and 108 months in prison.
“This defendant lied to defraud banks and steal money from them,” Dettelbach said. “It’s not just banks that were the victims. Neighborhoods suffered when these homes went into foreclosure.”
Ruderson worked as an appraiser. A jury found that she appraised properties’ at values far in excess of their true market value, allowing Kimberly Wilson, through her companies, to fraudulently profit by obtaining the excess funds from the mortgage loans for Wilson’s personal use and the use of other defendants, such as straw buyers.
For example, Ruderson appraised different homes on East 126 Street, East 119 Street, East 77 Street, East 69 Street, Korman Avenue and Blaine Avenue as having values in the range of $80,000 to $95,000 when their true values were about half that, according to court records.
She was convicted on one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud involving a mortgage fraud scheme and 15 counts of wire fraud.
Ruderson is the last of 13 defendants to be found guilty for their roles in a scheme that, over all, involved 28 properties and caused losses of nearly $2 million.This case was prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Mark S. Bennett and Special Assistant United States Attorney Micah Ault following an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation.