3 Men Sentenced In Mortgage Fraud Case

PHOENIX (AP) — Three men who pleaded guilty to participating in a mortgage fraud scheme that focused on high-end properties in Scottsdale and Paradise Valley, Ariz., have been sentenced to federal prison terms.

The U.S. attorney’s office in Arizona says the three were given lenient sentence of 27 to 30 months for the wire fraud conspiracy charges because they cooperated in another mortgage fraud investigation.

The two men who received 27 months were 32-year-old Vincent James Vendittelli of Scottsdale and 32-year-old Jason Mark Chrzanowski of Farmington, Minn. The lengthier sentence was given to 37-year-old Henry Oliver Ford of West Palm Beach, Fla. He’s also known as Cleothus Lefty Jackson.

The three worked together to recruit buyers who took out bigger-than-needed home loans, then selling the properties in about a year. Lenders lost millions.

(© Copyright 2011 The Associated Press. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.)

  • Scams abound

    If one really looks deep even the peons with the local realtor firms played this game. They all were hooked into lenders who had to hav ethe “deals” sent their way…..bogus appraisals, weird financing…hell, every one of them could be convicted of fraud. We just don’t have the resources nor prisons to house them all.
    isn’t America grand …. the country of capitalism run amuk. But we don’t change it, rathwer we change the current scam to play in.
    God Bless America

    • Mark

      AMEN Scams abound!

      And isn’t it also amazing that the banks now, after forclosure, abandon the property as well, leaving our communities and neighborhoods blighted by the scourge of finacial institutions without regulation.

      So now maybe the banks should be forced to build millions of homeless shelters to house the millions that they have caused by their ruthless practices.

      Isn’t it “a wonderful life”?

      • You don't know the Process

        You shouldn’t comment on something you know nothing about. The foreclosure laws, especially here in MN make it real hard for the ‘bank’ to just step in and take over the property once the former homeowner abandons it. There can be several redemption periods and personal and property eviction periods that have to run-out before anyone can step foot inside of an abandoned property.

        • please spare us

          That does not stop them , a mortgage company, from not “abandoning ” a property and letting it fall into disarray when it is empty. The cities here fight this battle daily. Take a walk through even the “glorious” Minnetonka and Plymouth neighborhoods. There are places that have been vacant for 1-2 years and look like hell. The lenders cannot or choose not to keep up to all. They also will not put up 4 Sale signs on them all as it depresses prices in area.
          Maybe you need to do YOUR research there pal. Or make it simple – watch 20-20 or 60 Minutes as both have covered this in depth also.
          Or not and let the BS you believe continue…matters not to me.
          The day may come when people decide to be responsible( LMAO) like Corporate America – a bad performing asset in hand, just file a bankruptcy and walk away. Around 25% of the homes are upside down today and if we play the Corporate game hang on. You will find we have not seen anything yet at that point …… we have another 25%-50% downside to go then. Pretty cool huh

          • Betty

            @please spare us……………I guess you missed the 60 Minutes episode on Sunday that exposed people who are actually taking their obligations seriously and making payments even though they are upside down. Thje common theme was that they were raised to do the right thing.

          • Betty

            I guess you missed the 60 minutes episode 2 days ago. It was about people who stand behind their obligations. They were raised to repay what the borrowed. I applaud everyone of them. People that simply walk away because it makes sense and have not suffered any income loss should be barred from ever using a government agency to purchase another home.

          • Spare US

            I don’t need to watch TV – I live it here everyday in Minnesota where we have the strictest Real Estate laws in the Country. I don’t understand how people can continue to make comments on an issue that they know nothing about. Your citing a TV show? Try reading through the various State laws we have here in MN, or better yet speak with an REO agent or Foreclosure Attorney about the BS they have to deal with here in Minnesota.

            • Ricky_O

              SpareUS, you’re an idiot. You do need to watch a few shows such as FrontLine, and other investigative reporting. Many in the real estate biz, the lenders, the inspectors, all knew what was going on. It’s recorded. There’s no ‘BS’ here in MN; just laws that make sure both parties have a level playing field. (I have read the laws.) It was a lack of regulation; or, non-enforcement of existing regulation that allowed all this to happen. So please, stop your whining. It’s pathetic. If you don’t like the laws here, GO SOMEWHERE ELSE!!!

    • Realtor Firms?

      Realtors have absolutely nothing to do with anyone getting a loan. People get approved by mortgage companies – the Loan Officer pulls your credit, verifies employment, and tells you what you qualify for. The Loan Officer and the buyer then inform the Realtor what the buyer’s price range is, not the other way around?

      Of course, you did refer to Real Estate Brokerages as ‘Realtor Firms’ so the source should be considered.

      • I will laugh and laugh here my friend

        I’d say this is baloney or a marketers bs – take your pick.
        I was a Realtor in the glory era and our office manager always steered us to this loan broker or that one. He/she put the required loan package and worked with the lender/mortgage company.
        We had more funny stuff that went on here than most can imagine – spiffs, kickbacks, special “favors”…..and since I still am licensed in case the crazy days return I will let a sleeping dog rest for now.
        The industry rates right down there at the bottom of sleeze careers – not sure if I would rate used car salesmen or attorney types any lower. From the very top to the very bottom this industry got what it deserved….and as you recently read you cannot even trust a silly thing like an honest sales figure from them. Sales is touchy-feely and we need the buyers to feel all warm and fuzzy now to make a sale.

        • Idiots making comments

          I can’t argue with your stupidity – apparently no laws have changed since your so called glory days. Even using your stupid logic – steering a buyer to a loan officer has nothing to do with loan approval, credit scores, income, or employment verification.

          • Ricky_O

            Are you sure about that?……..
            There is a reason why anyone ‘steers’ anyone in business anywhere. It’s the path of least resistance, and for what other reasons would a sales representative or broker favor one mortgage source over another??? Get Real!!! We’re not that naive, but maybe you can’t handle the TRUTH.

  • dan

    Yes, Freddie and Fannie offered the products that did not require verification of income or employment. The banks passed these programs along to the loan officers on the street. The real crime starts at the kitchen table when the process was laid out to the borrower. Convict the guilty and move on.
    And to Marks comment. How is it the Banks fault they are abondoning the properties? Maybe the homeowner or local thugs are trashing someone elses property leaving it with no value is the real problem. This is no different than people walking away from their home because its not worth what they owe on it. Do you not think these decisions affect neighborhood values? Wake up!

    • Ricky_O

      Those banks bundle those trash loans and SOLD THEM. THEY KNEW WHAT THE GAME WAS. As long as they got paid, they didn’t want to look back. But once the entire FRAUD started to unwind and those left with losses started to look backwards as to who got them into owning these bogus and fraudulent bundles of billions of $$$’s of loans, then it was easy to work backwards. Problem is, they stopped short of going all the way back to the kitchen tables and arresting those originators who criminally falsified data, or coerced the buyers to ‘fib’ or whatever other rationale you want to attach to it. They didn’t go back that far because there were so many involved by the time they were 3 or 4 layers deep, it would have required a staff of millions of investigators. Now that the big waves of losses have passed, and the shock is far lesser, I would suggest that it is time to dig those layers deeper, and find all those originators in those storefronts who were selling shoes one day, mortgages the next, and crawled back into their holes when it all blew up.

  • Ricky_O

    They should prosecute ALL of those who were out selling mortgages during that period. Mortgage shops popped up like popcorn out of a cooker. They all knew what they were doing. They kept lowering the requirements, taking the increasing commissions and bonuses. Now they all move on, and hope no one notices.
    Every one of them should be brought up on charges and provide substantiation of the facts upon which they provided each and every mortgage. We all suffer, they still have the money in their bank accounts.

    • dan

      Well Rick, how do you prosecute a loan officer for not verifying income, employment or assets when the loan program did not require them for approval?

      • dan 2

        for many dan even if it was required it “wasn’t” lol
        The industry set this all up to tumble and now they crying like babies and keep begging for help. F’ em all

        • Betty

          @dan 2…………In the end so what if income was stated correctly or not? Did the borrower not know what the interest rate, payments and terms of the loan were? It was clearly laid out in the loan application as well as explained by a 3rd party closer before they signed the dotted line.
          Shouldnt the borrower have some responsibility?

        • dan

          Who are the ones crying like babies? The Banks arent crying, the loan officers arent crying, the people who walked away arent crying?

          • Ricky_O

            It is indeed the banks that are crying! Who do you think were bailed out? And why?? They cried like babies.

      • Ricky_O

        And you’ll notice in the article CCO quoated ( http://www.bizjournals.com/phoenix/news/2011/12/20/trio-get-jail-time-in-mortgage-fraud.html ), the defendants received shorter sentences because they are cooperating in prosecutions of other fraud rings. This is the only ‘trickle-down economics’ that actually works, at least that I know of. If they want reductions in those terms, my guess is they will have to give up info on a number of others, which means, this story isn’t over. Maybe we will see a lot of people who thought they were safe, actually picked-up and prosecuted. If you have good ethics in your business, you don’t have to worry about what’s going to catch up with you.

      • Ricky_O

        Simple. It’s called Joint and Several Liability. They were all complicit. Hopefully, in time, they all, right down to the storefront wanna-bee’s, will be called to justify their actions. They all knew what was going on. The originators were being approached weekly, (by their own testimony on 60Minutes and Frontline) by the entities who purchased and resold or bundled the loans, and the requirements were being lowered and lowered and lowered. Now, if you own a business and someone comes to you and says, “I’ll buy 100% of the borrowing paper you can write”; do you think it is something you should be involved with? If your answer is ‘yes’, then I’d say you deserve what you get. However, if you say ‘no’, I would say you are a business person who is looking to stay in business, grow, and understands the value of maintaining the marketplace honestly. Just my opinions.

    • @Ricky O

      amen … and the top just caught richer by the boatload.
      Ethics ????? LMAO
      Realtors are a dime a dozen or make it a nickel at that.
      I do believe that there are some ethical ones out there. I just never met one though in 13 years in the industry

      • dan

        What are you talking about? How did the rich get richer? Have you seen that Bank of America stock is down 64% this year? Do you realize banks are losing money everyday by people walking away from their homes and that any govt bailout was actually a loan and most has already been repaid. I guess big business has to honor their obligations, but people like you that just walk away from their homes and cry with the rest of the occupiers dont have any responsibility to anyone. Good luck the next time you want to borrow money, I hope your family will help you out!

        • Ricky_O

          The rich are getting richer, because those who caused this mess were bailed out, and continue today to collect HUGE salaries and bonuses. Don’t tell me they are loosing money due to the actions of others. They created this mess, along with the wide range of cohorts, and they were able to influence Washington to bail them out. You know this.

          • dan

            Sounds like by all your replies you didnt read the paperwork you signed and lost your home in foreclosure. Sorry to hear that!

  • Correcting the idiots today

    Maybe that’s because your shady too??? They do say people like doing business with people like themselves!!

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