Dallas Morning News:
"Neighborhoods get ravaged in this kind of deal," said Kristine Baugh. "Homes go empty and deteriorate from neglect. Everybody loses."
Read the entire article (Sunday feature story in the Dallas Morning News) here:
Photo: Darren Dean, DMN
Officials Falling Behind on Mortgage Fraud Case...This progress is too slow for Kristine Baugh, who said her neighborhood in Dallas had not recovered from a mortgage fraud that left in six vacant houses on her block. Ms. Baugh, a real estate broker, said she discovered what she believed was a fraud scheme in 2005, when six properties sold for far more than she felt they were worth and remained vacant until being foreclosed.
Suspecting fraudulent appraisals, she gathered documents on the sales and took them to the F.B.I., the district attorney and local officials. With neighbors, she sued an investor who she said was behind the fraud.
Years later, there have been no arrests in the case. The residents ran out of money and dropped their civil suit after the investor filed a countersuit. “Our neighborhood is still in shambles,” Ms. Baugh said. “The properties deteriorated and have to be kept up by the city. They’re a health hazard.”
The swimming pools at the vacant sites are breeding grounds for mosquitoes and potential West Nile virus sources, she said.
By Joe Ellis, FOX 4 NEWS
Jury selection began today in the federal criminal trial against eleven men involved an in alleged mortgage fraud scheme.
Eric Farrington and 10 others are charged with wire fraud, bank fraud, money laundering, and other charges. In 2005 Farrington was the focus of a FOX 4 investigation when several homes on Winterwood Lane in north Dallas were purchased at inflated prices. No one moved in to the homes or made mortgage payments and the banks foreclosed.
The U.S. government accuses Farrington of recruiting investors and helping them get inflated mortgage loans, then paying the sellers kickbacks, and pocketing the proceeds.
One of the defendants named in the federal indictment, Marcus Parker has already pleaded guilty.
If convicted, Farrington and the others could face prison sentences of up to 600 years and millions of dollars in fines and restitution.