Sunday, December 27, 2009

Title Agent Gets Five Years For $1.3M+ Escrow Swindle; Pocketed Cash While Failing To Pay Off Existing Loans In Homeowner Refinancing Transactions

In Fort Lauderdale, Florida, the South Florida Business Journal reports:
  • Stephen Lalonde, 43, of Fort Lauderdale, was sentenced [last week] to five years in prison in connection with a $1.3 million mortgage fraud scheme. According to court records and statements made in court, Lalonde stole more than $1.3 million at real estate closings as part of a scheme to defraud legitimate borrowers, lenders and Spectrum Title, an Oakland Park title insurance company in connection with six real estate closings.

  • The legitimate borrowers were trying to re-finance and payoff existing mortgages. However, Lalonde kept the loan proceeds and did not use the money to payoff the borrowers’ pre-existing loans. He was charged with mail fraud and making false statements.(1)

Source: Broward man sentenced in $1.3M mortgage fraud.

For the U.S. Attorney (Fort Lauderdale) press release, see Fort Lauderdale Operator Of Title Agency And Mortgage Companies Sentenced To 60 Months On Mortgage Fraud Scheme.

Go here for Ripoff Report on Stephen Lalonde.

(1) According to the Federal prosecutor's press release, Lalonde was also ordered to pay restitution in the amount of $1,897,268.05 to the victims in this case, which included Stewart Title Guaranty Corporation, the insurance company that underwrote the title policies issued in connection with the subject transactions, and that ultimately wound up holding the bag as it had to cover the substantial losses suffered in this matter. EscrowRipOffKappa

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