Friday, June 25, 2010

Six To Cop Pleas In Flipping Racket That Left Unwitting Would-Be Homebuyers Under Rent-To-Own Deals, Straw Buyers, Foreclosing Lenders Holding The Bag

In Fort Myers, Florida, The News Press reports:
  • Seven defendants accused of participating in a more than $3 million mortgage fraud scheme appeared in state court [] with six of them ready to enter pleas. Before Lee Circuit Judge Edward Volz Jr., attorneys for Paul Bosnyak, Brian Chili, Erling Hall, Jeremy Hatlee, Trinity Ruffino and Mark Wallen indicated their clients were ready to enter pleas and testify against co-defendant Erich Heckler, who also was in court. A plea date has been set for July 12.

  • "We have come to an understanding with every defendant except for Mr. Heckler," assistant state attorney Douglas Sprotte said in court. "Mr. Heckler has to make a decision if he wants to plea."

  • According to court documents filed last year, Bosnyak, Hatlee, Chili, Ruffino and James Dalonzo worked with Heckler, Hall and Kim Jack as part of a conspiracy dating back to 2002. Heckler, Hall and Jack ran Alternative Home Financing Inc. on Dean Street in Fort Myers.

  • According to the documents, Alternative would find people and pay them to allow the company to apply for mortgages in their names to buy houses. Authorities allege the company would falsify application information so the person could qualify for the mortgage. Dalonzo, Hatlee, Bosnyak, Chili and Ruffino would distribute the money, knowing the loans were fraudulent. Alternative would manage the property, finding tenants who would make monthly payments in a lease-to-own option.

  • After a specified amount of time, the company would stop making payments, causing the house to foreclose. The tenant would be kicked out of the house and the person whose name was used for the loan would be associated with the foreclosure.

For the story, see Six in fraud scheme want to plead (Ready to testify against seventh).