Real Estate Flipping Scheme Uncovered, Mortgage Broker, Guilty

Friday, February 24 2006 @ 03:11 pm UTC

Contributed by: jron

According to U.S. Attorney Gregory Lockhart's office, Another Cincinnati area mortgage broker has agreed to plead guilty to criminal charges arising from a real estate "flipping" scheme, this one allegedly defrauding mortgage lenders of more than $872,000.

As reported, Clarence D. Harris of Cincinnati scheduled to appear before U.S. District Court Judge Herman Weber on Feb. 28, according to Internal Revenue Service spokesman Craig Casserly. He was charged with conspiracy to commit bank, mail and wire fraud and filing a false tax return earlier this month. He has agreed to cooperate with the ongoing investigation.

Uncovered by law enforcement officials, including the IRS, the FBI and the U.S. Postal Inspection Service, Harris's approach was similar to other flipping schemes.

Usually someone who otherwise couldn't afford it or who was interested in buying it as an investment, prosecutors said the schemes involved people purchasing real estate at a low value and then recruiting a buyer for the property. False documents would be created, including pay stubs, W-2 forms, bank statements and employment verifications, and a falsely inflated property appraisal would be obtained.

By: Dijon Wainwright