A Delaware man has been indicted in an elaborate fraud scheme that federal prosecutors say allowed him to buy and live in a $200,000 Bear, Del., home for very little, perhaps nothing, media reports said today.

The indictment alleges that MacDonald P. Taylor, 31, whose address is listed as Middletown, Del., forged documents about his past to obscure his true financial status from his bank, allowing him to purchase the home, accounts said.

Then, once he moved in, the court papers said, he filed a series of bankruptcy claims to prevent the bank from evicting him for at least a year and a half, according to reports.

Taylor faces felony criminal charges of bank fraud, misuse of a Social Security number, wire fraud and bankruptcy fraud, media accounts said.

According to court papers, in early 2003, Taylor provided false information to Washington Mutual bank, including a false Social Security number and forged W-2 papers that overstated his income, media accounts said.

Taylor also allegedly gave Washington Mutual a forged letter from another bank, making it appear that he controlled a checking account containing more than $12,000, and fake letters and e-mails from his landlord making it appear that he had paid his rent for the past six months, accounts said.

Based on this information, Taylor was able to get a mortgage on a $20,000 home in Bear around March 2003, according to the federal indictment, accounts said.

In September 2003, Taylor and his wife filed for bankruptcy, preventing the bank from foreclosing, the indictment alleged, according to accounts. In his bankruptcy statement, Taylor falsely stated that he had not declared bankruptcy in the past two years, when he had in fact done so twice, the indictment alleges.

The bankruptcy case was dismissed in October, but Taylor then filed another bankruptcy case in November 2003, and after that was quickly dismissed, filed yet another in May 2004 and again in December 2004, according to court papers, reports said.

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Send tips or a Letter to the Editor to janis@inman.com or call (510) 658-9252, ext. 140.

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