Alleged real estate fraudster arrested at closing table

March 17, 2006

Georgia borrower caught in FBI sting


Inman News

A mortgage borrower who allegedly used false loan-qualifying information to purchase a Duluth, Ga., property was arrested by FBI officials at the closing table Monday, officials said.

Brinson Allen, 38, of Alpharetta, Ga., allegedly used false qualifying income to purchase a property for $3.3 million, according to an announcement from the U.S. Attorney's office in Georgia. Allen attended the closing Monday where he allegedly intended to walk away with $800,000 in cash, but instead left in handcuffs, officials said.

"Sting operations like this one should put mortgage fraudsters on notice that they can never be sure who is monitoring their criminal scheme," U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said in a statement. "Fraudsters should understand that they may be spending their nights in jail rather than in the neighborhoods they have targeted."

According to Nahmias and documents and information presented in court, a criminal complaint charges Allen with attempting to commit bank fraud and conspiracy to commit wire fraud by allegedly using a falsely inflated income of up to $62,000 a month and the misrepresentation that he had more than $1 million on deposit at Bank of America, SunTrust Bank and the Associated Federal Credit Union to obtain $2.5 million in mortgage loans from SouthStar Funding and CitiHome Equity/CitiBank FSB for the purchase of 320 Longvue Court in Duluth.

The complaint further alleges that the $3.3 million purchase price was fraudulently inflated so that the borrower and his co-conspirators could walk away from closing with about $800,000, plus the return of the required $842,000 down payment.

The complaint alleges that Allen is a Homeland Security employee who first attempted to obtain these multimillion-dollar mortgage loans for the purchase of the property by pretending to be an FBI agent.

Allen was set to appear at a bond hearing on Tuesday.

"The FBI is committed to such sting operations until the mortgage fraud problem in this area is under control," Gregory Jones, FBI Special Agent in Charge, said in a statement.

Less than a month earlier in February, the FBI conducted a separate sting at a mortgage closing that led to the arrest of borrower Donna June Baker of Kalamazoo, Mich., and her niece and co-conspirator Lanamasha Wesalanda Mixom-Hampton of Atlanta. The pair allegedly used the stolen identity of a permanently disabled retiree from Florida to obtain a million-dollar mortgage loan to buy an Atlanta property.

Jones warned that fraudsters will not be allowed to continue to infiltrate Atlanta communities.

Copyright 2006 Innam News