Saturday, January 29, 2011

01292011 - News Article - 2 more charged in mortgage fraud scheme

2 more charged in mortgage fraud scheme 
Post-Tribune (IN)
January 29, 2011 

A federal indictment charging a group of local people with running a mortgage fraud scheme that took in $650,000 continues to grow as two more people were added. 

Richard Loveless and Jeffrey Youngheim, president and secretary of Gary-based Property Liquidators, respectively, were charged in a second superceding indictment filed Thursday in the U.S. District Court in Hammond with one count each of fraud and conspiring to defraud. 

The men were added to a group of six other defendants that includes Sheila Chandler of Schererville, who is also charged in a similar federal indictment that includes Gary businessman Jerry Haymon and Gary city employee Jacquelyn Drago-Hunter . Chandler pleaded guilty in 1999 to embezzling $259,677 from the Lake County Economic Opportunity Council. 

The indictment claims that the eight defendants worked together to find buyers for houses in Gary and Merrillville who paid inflated prices for the homes. The seller would receive just the actual prices of the home, while the defendants would get the rest of the money by placing liens on the homes for work they had supposedly done to renovate the houses. 

The work was never done, however, the indictment says. 

It also accuses several of the defendants with filling out false loan information for the buyers so that unidentified banks would lend them money for a mortgage.According to the indictment, Loveless and Youngheim sold several of the homes listed in the indictment. Both men were arrested Thursday, according to court records, and will be arraigned Feb. 7. 

Friday, January 7, 2011

01072011 - News Article - Gary man, 43, accused of identity theft, fraud

Gary man, 43, accused of identity theft, fraud 
Post-Tribune (IN)
January 7, 2011 

A Gary woman is accused of stealing someone's identity in order to buy two cars and two homes, according to documents filed in U.S. District Court in Hammond on Thursday. 

Tracy Butler, 43, faces two counts of wire fraud and two counts of aggravated identity theft. 

From March 2006 to March 2007, Butler is accused of stealing an unknown person's identity and obtaining a Georgia's driver's license in that person's name. 

With that identity, Butler purchased a $56,290 Range Rover at Town and Country Dodge and a $26,700 Cadillac Deville. Butler also used the person's name and social security number to purchase a house at 3617 Maryland St. for $71,100 and a house at 3860 Connecticut St. for $68,400. 

In each case, Butler received money for closing costs from an unnamed schemer. The schemer kept a large portion of the loan proceeds and paid Butler a kickback. Butler never made any loan payments, according to court documents. 

Gary has seen several recent mortgage fraud cases, including one involving developer Jerry Haymon, Gary Community Development director Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter , mortgage broker Sheila Chandler, and Gary reserve police officer Phillip Rucker. 

In that case, the grand jury said the defendants faked documents, made false promises and forged signatures as they executed their scheme between Oct. 1, 2007, and Nov. 5, 2008. 

It's unknown if Butler's case is related to the this one.

01072011 - News Article - Verdict out on Gary mayor's first-term accomplishments

Verdict out on Gary mayor's first-term accomplishments 
Post-Tribune (IN)
January 7, 2011 

GARY -- When the mayor of Gary abruptly resigned in 2006, Rudy Clay had the chance to fulfill a lifelong dream. He campaigned and won the right to succeed Scott King. 

His prize was stewardship of a city starved for economic development, derided for decades as the country's "murder capital." Northwest Indiana's largest city was also spiraling into a deep financial crisis. 

His administration's cost-cutting measures earn little praise from constituents, who more often accuse it of corruption and ineffectiveness. 

Clay wants four more years of this. 

He confirmed Thursday he'll run for a second full term. He has never hinted he'd do otherwise, despite recent rumors. But at least five competitors are lined up against him, including attorney Karen Freeman-Wilson and City Council member Ragen Hatcher. 

Candidates have until Feb. 18 to file with the county. For now, here's a look at the Clay administration so far. 

Feds check in 
What ended Houston's tenure as chief was his indictment, along with two other officers, of violating the civil rights of suspects. Houston was convicted in 2008 after he admitted kicking a suspect. The other defendants were acquitted. Houston died late last year. 

His was the first federal indictment to touch Clay's City Hall, but it wasn't the last. Community Development Director Jacquelyn Drago - Hunter is charged with fraud in an indictment unsealed in October. Drago - Hunter is responsible for handling millions of dollars in federal stimulus dollars, and Clay refuses to suspend her. Her indictment doesn't involve her duties as community development director, though. 

It's not clear if the investigation that snagged Drago - Hunter is over, though. And there are others. Federal agents have delivered subpoenas to Gary City Hall seeking information about former attempts to renovate the Dalton Arms apartment building. The records they're seeking predate the current effort to fix the building. 

The feds have also taken a long, close look at the Gary Sanitary District, recently indicting former operator United Water and two of its employees. GSD officials say they weren't targeted in the probe. 

Monday, January 3, 2011

01032011 - What did Portage Mayor James Snyder gain in hiding my marital assets?

It's just one of the questions that I have been asking myself, during my house search in the UP - because, having received my fair share of the marital assets would have made my life a hell of a lot easier.

So, I can't help but wonder WHY then banker Snyder helped my ex hide an estimated $1,000,000 in marital assets during our divorce. WHAT was in it for Snyder? WHAT did Snyder gain by hiding all that money? WHERE are my marital assets, that Snyder hid for my ex? How many other people did Snyder assist in hiding assets for during divorces? AND, what was the cost?

01032011 - Portage Mayor James Snyder's First Financial Trust - DISSOLVED 06142010 - Documentation showing Snyder continued to operate MC Mortgage and SRC Properties under FFTM name

2007, 2008, 2009 Snyder of First Financial Trust Mortgage, withheld payroll taxes from his employees' paychecks - Snyder failed to pay tens of thousands of dollars in payroll taxes for tax years 2007, 2008, 2009.  In 2010, Snyder's FFTM was desolved, and became MC and SRC Properties LLC - Yet continued to operate as FFTM.

Below, is a January 2011 document for my divorce case, involving the questionable sale of the marital home - which mentions James Snyder of First Financial Trust Mortgage [after it was dissolved in June 2010]

01032011 - DIVORCE: Realtor BruceAnn Singleton - Mayor Snyder

In December 2010, my Ameriprise Financial Advisor was in contact with the ReMax office [ BruceAnne Singleton] in regards to realtor Jim Thompson selling the marital home approximately $40,000 under the listed sale price. Instead of Singleton answering why she had not adhered to the September 2010 court order regarding offers below the listed price [and my right to reject such offers], she fired off this email to my financial advisor and Ameriprise.

Singleton also states in this letter that Mayor James Snyder - branch manager of First Financial Trust - "said he can personally assure me that every avenue was exhausted [tried loan alternatives]. Mr. Thomas was denied by First Financial Trust on October 11th."

This contradicts the large sum of funds my ex had and which the police officers spoke about over their police radios the day of the unlawful police entry: "More money than I have ever seen..." according to one of the Portage officers.

Realtor Jim Thompson, campaigned and supported Mayor James Snyder: "I've been bitten by the 'elected service bug' by helping candidates like (Porter County) Assessor Jon Snyder and (Portage) Mayor Jim Snyder get elected..."
[Thompson will challenge Clancy for Portage Township Trustee. July 02, 2014. NWI Times]

And, Mayor James Snyder - who is mentioned in the letter below by ReMax -  ordered all city officials to not investigate the unlawful police entry into my home and the deaths of Abbi and Bailey in 2012.

Singleton also states in this letter that Mayor James Snyder - branch manager of First Financial Trust - "said he can personally assure me that every avenue was exhausted [tried loan alternatives]. Mr. Thomas was denied by First Financial Trust on October 11th."

However, First Financial Trust was dissolved on June 14, 2010 :
"According to the Indiana Secretary of State's website, First Financial was voluntarily dissolved and has been inactive since June 14, 2010, which Taylor confirmed, adding the check to pay off the loan was made out to First Financial/SRC." [ Portage mayor raised more campaign cash than Dem rival. Chicago Tribune. 10192015 ]

Thompson will challenge Clancy for Portage Township Trustee
July 02, 2014 1:45 pm 

PORTAGE | Local Realtor Jim Thompson was appointed this week to the vacancy on the Republican ballot for Portage Township trustee.

He will challenge incumbent Democrat Brendan Clancy for the seat in November.

In a press release, Thompson said he believes cooperation with local units of government, like Portage, could provide a much more efficient government, including creating a fire territory similar to Center Township to meet the needs of South Haven and Portage residents.

"The trustee's office was designed by the State Constitution to provide a hand up, not a hand out," said Thompson, adding he believes strengthening the rules for those who receive relief will make sure the people who need help are the ones getting it.

He also believes that, over time, the Kernan/Shepherd report should be implemented and trustee services should be maintained by one county system.

"I've been bitten by the 'elected service bug' by helping candidates like (Porter County) Assessor Jon Snyder and (Portage) Mayor Jim Snyder get elected and then having had the opportunity to see how their leadership has made a difference in my community," he said. "My goal will be to make a difference in the lives of the underprivileged and seniors in Portage Township."

Thompson lives in Portage with his wife and two children.