ETX woman indicted in mortgage fraud scheme

ETX woman indicted in mortgage fraud scheme
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POSTED: Friday, June 14, 2013 - 2:25pm

UPDATED: Wednesday, June 19, 2013 - 8:25am

A 34-year-old Edinburg, Texas woman has been indicted in a bank fraud scheme in the Eastern District of Texas, announced U.S. Attorney John M. Bales today.

Lacie Devine was indicted on June 13, 2013 by a federal grand jury and charged with conspiracy to commit mail fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme. If convicted, Devine faces up to 20 years in federal prison and possible restitution of $3.7 million.

According to the indictment, Devine, an escrow officer at National Escrow & Title, LLC, is alleged to have been involved in a wide-spread mortgage fraud scheme involving loan officers, recruiters, home sellers, and home buyers. The indictment alleges that Devine conspired with others to falsify home buyers’ loan applications, to falsify real estate settlement statements, and to distribute lender funds to parties that were not disclosed on the settlement statements and were not disclosed to the lenders. Devine’s scheme resulted in losses to mortgage lenders and to those that insured these mortgages, including The Federal Housing Administration (FHA), The Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae), and The Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corporation (Freddie Mac).

Others who have pleaded guilty in connection with the case include Ronzell Mitchell, 36, of Edmond, OK; Christi Wyatt, 41, of Desoto, Texas; Roslyn Long, 45, of Plano; Michael Ross, 35, of Dallas; and Curtis Callier, 32, of Dallas.

This law enforcement action is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force.

President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch, and with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.

This case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, HUD-Office of Inspector General, Federal Housing Finance Agency-Office of Inspector General, and Texas Department of Insurance-Fraud Unit. The case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorneys Chris Eason and Andy Williams.

A grand jury indictment is not evidence of guilt and all defendants are presumed innocent until proven guilty beyond a reasonable doubt in a court of law.

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