Classmates sometimes tease his two sons. His mother refuses his advice on home loans. For former mortgage broker Kevin Barnes, it's all part of being a convicted felon. Barnes, 44, was convicted in the early 1990s of being part of a ring that perpetrated $24 million in mortgage fraud in the greater Kansas City area. He now speaks out about his experiences as a way, he says, to give back to the industry he took so much from. "It's a lifetime of hell after the fact," Barnes said. The multitrillion-dollar mortgage industry is a goldmine for fraudsters, and like most white-collar crimes, mortgage fraud may not be obvious to an outsider or even to honest people in the industry. The schemes have been around for decades, but technology has made the scams easier to pull off and enabled fraud to proliferate. Barnes first began taking from the mortgage industry in the mid-1980s, though he already had several years experience in the field. He was working as a loan officer at a bank w...
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