Skip to comments.First Felony Charges Brought Against Robosigners
Posted on 11/18/2011 8:53:40 AM PST by Razzz42
Up until now, fraudclosure and robosigning were both merely civil offenses, and as such the banks were actively doing all they could to bury any and all pending litigation under a large settlement umbrella, wash their hands of the whole affair and move on, with nobody in danger of actually walking the plank and certainly not in danger of going to jail. That has all changed as of now, following a Nevada Grand Jury handing down criminal indictments against two title officers employed by Lender Processing Services Inc. for allegedly directing and supervising a robo-signing scheme, in which documents filed in foreclosure cases were signed without proper legal review, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said Wednesday. The case which, if won on behalf of the plaintiffs, could easily mean several lifetime sentences for one Linda Green, is likely just the beginning of a wave of criminal charges against the thousands of robosigners involved at every stage of housing bubble, and quite possibly is starting as a midlevel fishing expedition which will see gradual escalation up the ranks as the "robotic" ones rat each other out in succession until the elevator goes to the very top floor. Just which floor that is remains to be see although somehow we have a feeling it will be found in the Bank of America tower.
From the WSJ:
The 606-count indictment alleges that the two title officers, Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, directed employees under their supervision to forge their names on foreclosure documents, then notarize the forged signatures, so that it appeared that the pair actually signed the documents.
The pair then allegedly directed the employees to file the fraudulent documents with the County Recorder's office in Clark County, Nevada. The grand jury found "probable cause" that the alleged scheme "resulted in the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents ... between 2005 and 2008," said Nevada Chief Deputy Attorney General John Kelleher.
A spokeswoman for LPS confirmed that the pair works for the company, but said the company couldn't comment further because it hadn't been notified about the indictment. Kenneth Julian, an attorney representing the pair, also declined to comment.
The full indictment is below. Needless to say every single Bank of America in-house counsel is feverishly reading this right now, as the feces just got real for both Brian Moynihan and Ken Lewis.
OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL Catherine Cortez Masto, Attorney General 555 E. Washington Avenue, Suite 3900Las Vegas, Nevada 89101Telephone - (702) 486-3420Fax - (702) 486-3283Web - http://ag.state.nv.us FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE Contact: Jennifer LÃ³pezDATE: November 16, 2011 702-486-3782OFFICE OF THE ATTORNEY GENERAL ANNOUNCES INDICTMENT IN MASSIVECLARK COUNTY ROBO-SIGNING SCHEME Defendants to be Held Criminally Accountable for Filing Tens of Thousands of Fraudulent Foreclosure Documents Carson City, NV â The Office of the Nevada Attorney General announced today thatthe Clark County grand jury has returned a 606 count indictment against two titleofficers, Gary Trafford and Gerri Sheppard, who directed and supervised a robo-signingscheme which resulted in the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents withthe Clark County Recorderâs Office between 2005 and 2008.According to the indictment, defendant Gary Trafford, a California resident, is chargedwith 102 counts of offering false instruments for recording (category C felony); falsecertification on certain instruments (category D felony); and notarization of the signatureof a person not in the presence of a notary public (a gross misdemeanor). Theindictment charges defendant Gerri Sheppard, also a California resident, with 100counts of offering false instruments for recording (category C felony); false certificationon certain instruments (category D felony); and notarization of the signature of a personnot in the presence of a notary public (a gross misdemeanor).âThe grand jury found probable cause that there was a robo-signing scheme whichresulted in the filing of tens of thousands of fraudulent documents with the Clark CountyRecorderâs Office between 2005 and 2008,âsaid Chief Deputy Attorney General JohnKelleher.The indictment alleges that both defendants directed the fraudulent notarization andfiling of documents which were used to initiate foreclosure on local homeowners.The State alleges that these documents, referred to as Notices of Default, or âNODsâ,were prepared locally. The State alleges that the defendants directed employees undertheir supervision, to forge their names on foreclosure documents, then notarize thesignatures they just forged, thereby fraudulently attesting that the defendants actually signed the documents, which was untrue and in violation of State law. The defendantsthen allegedly directed the employees under their supervision to file the fraudulentdocuments with the Clark County Recorderâs office, to be used to start foreclosures onhomes throughout the County.The indictment alleges that these crimes were done in secret in order to avoid detection.The fraudulent NODs were allegedly forged locally to allow them to be filed at the ClarkCounty Recorderâs office on the same day they were prepared.District Court Judge Jennifer Togliatti has set bail in the amount of $500,000 forSheppard and $500,000 for Trafford. The case has been assigned to Department 5District Court Judge Carolyn Ellsworth who will preside over the case.Anyone who has information regarding this case is asked to contact the AttorneyGeneralâs Office at 702-486-3777 in Las Vegas or 775-684-1180 in Carson City.
About damn time. I hope that this goes all the way to the very top and then out to the enablers too.
A local law firm I visited had about 400 clerks processing documentation for foreclosures. The lawyer signing the documents never even saw the paperwork.
With a 606 count indictment, let’s hope one of them sticks.
I would like to see more lawyer partners who REQUIRED this to do the perp walk as well as the judges who rubber stamped this nonsence.
if it is 606 homes which were forclosed, I hope it is 606 forclosures that are undone. Then have the banks liable to the new, if any, owners and those who were foreclosed.
How many years now has it taken to get only two indictments for theft by deception or whatever resulting in a cost to Americans of hundreds of billions of dollars?
That incessant roar of “don’t look at me, go after the fools I swindled, how dare you look at me” really did work.
Anytime you go to court for a foreclosure filing it requires an attorney to represent to the court the paperwork involved. The Notice Of Default paperwork has to be signed by a attorney, certified. These clearing houses for mortgages used an attorney firm to oversee all the paperwork and signing. A couple of attorneys were assigned to direct document signing as if they were the ones actually signing the paperwork, hundreds to thousand a day, ten of thousands and hundred of thousands during the course of the scam just by one firm alone.
Then the scam got to the point that banks didn’t even file paperwork with a local County Recorder’s Office thus bypassing the fees for filing forecloses but foreclosed on homes anyway.
How is this different from Obama signing legislation with the autopen?
Congress operates under a different set of rules. They could put a stop to robosigning if they wanted to but standby and do nothing.
Sorry for my reply being so late and all, but the indictments against Trafford and Sheppard are for non-judicial foreclosures which don’t require attorneys. And the recording of the notice of default at the county recorder’s office is the official beginning of the process so that paperwork was definitely filed and the recording fees were definitely paid.
It seems that a sizable number of people simply want vengeance rather than justice. I’d encourage all FReepers to remember the “indict a ham sandwich” rule and not be quick to presume guilt on any individual’s part. I’ll wait for more facts to come out.
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