Industry News

First indictments made under Georgia’s anti-mortgage-fraud act

Four accused of conspiring in alleged scam

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The first four people to be prosecuted under Georgia's new Residential Mortgage Fraud Act, were indicted this week by a Gwinnett County, Ga., grand jury, media accounts said. Jason Edward Brenner, 32; James Reuben Price, 48; Charlie Reed Smith Jr., 36; and Tara Shemail Webb, 33, each face three counts of residential mortgage fraud, according to reports. The four alleged co-conspirators are accused of inflating a home appraisal to steal from a bank, accounts said. The four were accused of trying to secure a loan for $205,000 even though the house they planned to buy on Atwood Street in Atlanta was valued at $140,000, police told the Gwinnett Daily Post. The suspects, including a buyer, broker, real estate agent and an investor, allegedly inflated the price by placing $60,000 worth of fake liens on the house to funnel money into a "shell" mechanic's business, Attorney General Thurbert Baker said during a press conference in June, the Daily Post reported. In June, the suspects accused...