Gary official, reserve cop plead not guilty
October 29, 2010
October 29, 2010
The director of Gary Community Development and a reserve Gary police officer pleaded not guilty Thursday to charges connected to a $300,000 mortgage fraud scheme.
Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter , 60, director of the GCD, and Philip Rucker, 39, were charged last week in the U.S. District Court in Hammond along with Jerry Haymon and Sheila Chandler, a Schererville mortgage broker, of running a scheme that took in money from housing loans for work that Haymon's company, Priced Right Construction and Management LLC, had supposedly done on houses.
According to the federal indictment, Haymon and others would convince people to let them help sell their properties. Haymon and others would then find people to buy the homes for more than the asking price, according to the indictment. He and others would then use the difference in the asking and payment prices to pay off liens that Haymon had filed against the homes, for renovation work done to the houses, prosecutors claim in records.
Drago - Hunter , who is listed as owning Maximilian Title, is accused in the indictment of preparing false HUD-1 settlement statements and giving the loan money to Haymon. Rucker, who has been suspended from his duties as a reserve officer, is accused of recruiting one of the buyers and taking a kickback.
Haymon was arraigned last week and pleaded not guilty. Chandler, who is charged in a separate but similar mortgage fraud scheme, has not yet appeared in court on the new charges.
Drago - Hunter , wearing a black cape, spoke quietly and stumbled over some of her words as she answered U.S. Magistrate Andrew Rodovich's questions about her education and the indictment charging her with two counts of wire fraud and aggravated identity theft. Neither she nor her attorney, Kerry Connor, would comment on the case after the hearing.
Drago - Hunter oversees federal stimulus funds and other money for Gary in her position with the GCD. Mayor Rudy Clay has said he supports her and won't ask her to step aside pend
ing the outcome of the case.Rucker pleaded not guilty to two counts of wire fraud.
A status case has been scheduled for Dec. 7, when all sides will discuss scheduling a trial date, Rodovich said. Assistant U.S. Attorney Gary Bell said he expects the case to last a little longer than a week.