Carneys Point Woman Charged in Multi-Million-Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 03, 2013|
Rashika J. Moon, 42, of Carneys Point, New Jersey, was charged today by information with participating in a mortgage fraud conspiracy involving more than 100 Philadelphia properties and more than $20 million in fraudulent loan proceeds, announced United States Attorney Zane David Memeger. Moon is charged with conspiracy to commit loan and wire fraud, false statement in connection with Federal Housing Administration loan, and loan fraud. The information also seeks the criminal forfeiture of over $1.7 million from Moon.
The information alleges a massive mortgage fraud conspiracy that operated between May 2004 and February 2009, primarily in the West Philadelphia section of the city of Philadelphia. Moon is alleged to have been associated with KREW Settlement Services, a Philadelphia real estate settlement company that is alleged to have been at the center of the conspiracy. Moon is alleged to have had the legal authority to sign checks from KREW’s bank account. Moon is also alleged to have directly participated in numerous fraudulent loan applications by either purchasing properties in her name based on the submission of false loan applications and other false documents or by later “selling” many of those properties to “straw buyers” whose identities and fraudulent information were used to obtain other loans. Many of the fraudulent loan applications are alleged to have included falsely inflated sales prices and falsely inflated appraisals, causing the lenders to loan more money than the properties than they were truly worth. Most of the mortgages were unpaid and most of the properties fell into foreclosure.
According to the information, co-conspirator Eric Ponder, charged elsewhere, held himself out as a real estate developer and helped cause the submission of numerous fraudulent loan applications that resulted in mortgages being unwittingly issued by various banks by, making false statements on loan applications in his own name and helping secure mortgages in the names of others by recruiting “straw buyers” whose identity and fraudulent information was used to obtain the loans. Ponder is also alleged to have submitted false invoices for construction work never performed on the properties in order to justify payments to him from the settlement proceeds of loans in the names of the straw buyers. The information also alleges that another co-conspirator, Willie G. Manley, charged elsewhere, was an accountant who created false income documents, such as W-2 forms, paystubs, and Form 1040 income tax returns, which were submitted to lenders. The conspiracy also included grossly inflated appraisals, false title insurance policies, false receipts for home repairs that were never performed, and straw buyers who knowingly allowed their names and identities to be used to purchase the properties and defraud the banks.
If convicted, Moon faces a maximum possible sentence 37 years’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release, a fine of $1,500,000 or twice the value of the property involved in the transactions, and a $300 special assessment
The case was investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Office of Inspector General. It is being prosecuted by Assistant United States Attorney Michael S. Lowe.