A Shorewood woman and three others were indicted for allegedly participating in a scheme to fraudulently obtain at least 42 residential mortgage loans totaling approximately $9.1 million from various lenders, according to a statement released by the U.S. Attorney's Office.
Cheryl Ware, 47, a Shorewood licensed loan originator, was charged with one count each of wire fraud and mail fraud.
Also charged in the indictment were Jason Dade, 37, of Chicago, Tiffini Chism, 36, of Glenwoood, and Tamika Peters, 34, of Country Club Hills. Dade is a a licensed real estate agent and the owner of Round Table Enterprises Inc. Chism and Peters are licensed loan originators.
The indictment alleges that mortgages were obtained to finance the purchase of properties throughout Chicago by buyers who were fraudulently qualified for loans while the defendants allegedly profited. The lenders and their successors incurred losses totaling approximately $4.7 million because the mortgages were not fully recovered through subsequent sale or foreclosure.
All four defendants were charged with various counts of bank fraud, mail fraud, and wire fraud in a five-count indictment that was returned by a federal grand jury last Thursday. The indictment also seeks forfeiture of at least $4.7 million.
Between August 2004 and June 2008, all four defendants and others allegedly schemed to obtain the fraudulent mortgages by making false representations in loan applications, supporting documents, and HUD-1 settlement statements concerning the buyers’ income, employment, financial condition, source of down payments, and intention to occupy the property.
As part of the scheme, Dade allegedly acted as a real estate agent for prospective home buyers, including Peters and others, knowing that the residences would be financed through fraudulently obtained mortgages. Dade referred Peters and other prospective buyers to Ware and Chism and others to have false loan application packages prepared, the indictment alleges.
All four defendants allegedly received the proceeds of the fraudulent loans that various lenders issued to prospective buyers and to Dade and Peters when the loans closed and used the proceeds to enrich themselves, according to the indictment.
Each count of bank fraud, as well as wire fraud and mail fraud affecting a financial institution, carries a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine, and restitution is mandatory. If convicted, the court may impose an alternate fine totaling twice the loss to any victim or twice the gain to the defendant, whichever is greater.
The charges are part of a continuing effort to investigate and prosecute mortgage fraud in northern Illinois and nationwide under the umbrella of the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force, which was established to lead an aggressive, coordinated and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes.