Home Detroit Press Releases 2013 Members of Lansing Mortgage Fraud Ring Sentenced

Members of Lansing Mortgage Fraud Ring Sentenced
Members of CDC Investments Scam Receive Prison Time

U.S. Attorney’s Office March 28, 2013
  • Western District of Michigan (616) 456-2404

GRAND RAPIDS, MI—Six of seven defendants indicted in connection with the CDC Investments mortgage fraud scheme were sentenced this week, announced U.S. Attorney Pat Miles today. U.S. District Judge Robert J. Jonker sentenced the defendants to prison, as indicated below:

  • Eric Williams, a realtor, was sentenced to 12 months in prison.
  • CDC co-founder Aaron Teachout was sentenced to 51 months in prison.
  • Isaac Modert, another founding member CDC, was sentenced to 60 months in prison.
  • Rick Artibee, a mortgage loan officer, was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
  • Dennis Sare, a title and closing agent, was sentenced to 15 months in prison.
  • Nichole Buda, a mortgage borrower, was sentenced to 18 months in prison.

The seventh defendant, Mario Giannandrea, is scheduled to be sentenced on May 28, 2013.

In most cases, the defendants received a reduced sentence from Judge Jonker because they had provided information to federal investigators about mortgage fraud in the Lansing, Michigan area.

The fraud scheme alleged in the August 2, 2012 indictment charged the defendants with engaging in an “equity stripping” scheme involving approximately 35 homes. In the scheme, banks would be asked to finance sham real estate purchases that were designed to extract funds from lenders, which would then be split up among the participants in the scheme to be used for their own benefit. The mortgages were not paid and went into foreclosure, resulting in losses of over $3 million since the lenders were only able to recover a fraction of the outstanding mortgage balances when they sold the properties after foreclosure.

This prosecution was brought by the Mortgage Fraud Task Force, made up of investigators from the Federal Bureau of Investigation; the United States Secret Service; the United States Postal Inspection Service; the Department of Housing and Urban Development, Office of Inspector General; and the Lansing Police Department. Prosecution of the case is assigned to Timothy VerHey and Ronald Stella, Assistant United States Attorneys.