ST. PAUL (WCCO) — A Twin Cities couple has been fined $100,000 for an alleged mortgage fraud scheme stemming back from 2005.
The Minnesota Department of Commerce announced the fine Monday, against Kristina Marie Birt, of Hastings, and her husband, Matthew Birt.
According to the Department of Commerce, Kristina Birt bought eight homes between 2005 and 2006 as investment properties with the intent of flipping the homes for a profit. The homes were typically for-sale-by-owner or private sales and in some cases, Kristina Birt allegedly received cash back from the seller, according to the department.
She admitted to allowing her husband, Matthew Birt, to complete the transactions and sign her name to the loan applications and closing documents.
During the closings, all involved, including the Birts, were allegedly aware of the fraud in the transactions and openly discussed cash-back incentives.
All eight properties eventually fell into foreclosure, resulting in significant losses to the lenders.
As a result, the department ordered Matthew Birt to pay a penalty of $75,000 — and his wife to pay a penalty of $25,000 — revoked both of their real estate licenses and permanently barred them from any mortgage activities or related services in Minnesota.