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Seven charged in Wichita with mortgage fraud

  • The Wichita Eagle
  • Published Thursday, May 2, 2013, at 5:33 p.m.

Seven people in Wichita were charged Thursday in a federal mortgage fraud case.

A grand jury indictment alleges the scheme involved straw buyers and straw sellers, false loan applications and false supporting documentation submitted to lenders. Victims of the fraud included numerous banks, the Federal Housing Administration, the Federal Deposit Insurance Corporation (FDIC), the Federal National Mortgage Association (Fannie Mae) and the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp. (Freddie Mac).

The proceeds from the fraudulently obtained loans resulted in losses to lenders of more than $221,000, according to the indictment.

The following defendants were named in the indictment:

• Manjur Alam, 45, who is charged with one count of conspiracy, six counts of wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, one count of making a false statement to the Department of Housing and Urban Development and one count of money laundering.

• Janice Young, 26, who is charged with one count of conspiracy, one count of wire fraud and one count of making a false statement to HUD.

• Bruce Dykes, 44, is charged with one count of conspiracy and two counts of wire fraud.

• Christopher Ginyard, 27, is charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.

• Henry Pearson Sr. is charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.

• Henry Pearson Jr., 28, is charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of bank fraud.

• Steven Pelz is charged with one count of conspiracy and one count of wire fraud.

The indictment alleges that Alam, whose real estate license had been suspended and who was on probation for a federal conviction, was the leader of the conspiracy.

He used straw sellers to purchase homes and flip the properties to straw buyers. He recruited sellers from his homeland of Bangladesh. He lured the straw sellers with promises of quick and easy profits, while he recruited straw buyers with the prospect of using the houses as investments while promising them kickbacks.

The indictment also alleges:

• Alam guided each straw buyer through the purchase process, acting as the buyer and seller agent, even though his realtor license was suspended. He falsely represented his wife as the real estate agent.

• The defendants were unqualified to receive mortgage loans for the homes they bought and each of them made false statements in their loan applications.

• Alam caused false Verification of Employment information and false Verification of Rent information on straw buyers to be submitted to lenders.

• None of the straw buyers used the homes as their primary residence although each indicated in loan applications that the homes would be a primary residence.

• Alam and the straw buyers submitted false invoices for repairs to title companies for property improvements.

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