Philadelphia Woman Charged is Fourth Defendant in Multi-Million-Dollar Mortgage Fraud Scheme
|U.S. Attorney’s Office April 04, 2013|
Dontaya S. Devore, 38, of Philadelphia, 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. Devore 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 $467,000 from Devore.
Devore is the fourth defendant charged in this district with participating in a massive mortgage fraud conspiracy that operated between May 2004 and February 2009, primarily in the West Philadelphia section of the city of Philadelphia involving KREW Settlement Services, a Philadelphia real estate settlement company that is alleged to have been at the center of the conspiracy. Devore is alleged to have directly participated in several fraudulent loan applications by purchasing properties in her name based on the submission of false loan applications and other false documents.
The other three co-conspirators charged in this district with participating in the same mortgage fraud conspiracy involving KREW are Willie G. Manley, Jr., Eric Ponder, and Rashika J. Moon. According to the information, 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. Co-conspirator Eric Ponder, charged elsewhere, is alleged to have 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, Rashika J. Moon, had the legal authority to sign checks from KREW’s bank account and directly participated in numerous fraudulent loan applications by 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.
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, Devore faces a maximum possible sentence 37 years’ imprisonment, five years’ supervised release, a fine of $1.5 million 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.