Two New Yorkers were arrested on Dec. 27 for allegedly forging signatures on official documents at a New York mortgage closing, the Long Island Press reported.

George Williams, 46, and Cheryl Gannaway, 45, both of Brooklyn, N.Y., attended a closing where they identified themselves asWilliam and Marilyn Pymm and produced forged New York State drivers licenses with the false names, Nassau police told the Press.

The pair allegedly signed the false names to all official documents, including the mortgage and signature affidavit, sworn by a notary public, media reports said. Crimes Against Property Squad detectives arrested the two Brooklynites, according to reports.

Williams and Gannaway were charged with grand larceny, identity theft and three counts of forgery, according to media reports.

The Federal Bureau of Investigation has said there is a “growing epidemic of mortgage fraud” in the United States, with reported losses from such fraud soaring to more than $1 billion in the fiscal year 2005, up from $429 million in 2004. In December, the FBI launched an initiative targeting mortgage fraud groups.

State mortgage industry regulators are working to create a national repository streamlining the licensing application process that would also show enforcement actions against lending industry insiders. The Conference of State Bank Supervisors is spearheading the project along with the American Association of Residential Mortgage Regulators.

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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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