A former Missouri mortgage broker and a former real estate appraiser were sentenced in federal court last week in separate but related mortgage fraud cases involving nearly 300 fraudulent loans worth almost $20 million, officials said.

Avonda Nicodemus, 33, of Kansas City, Mo., a former account executive at Ameriquest Mortgage in Gladstone, and Peggy Snodgrass, 40, of Independence, Mo., who operated a real estate appraisal business in Raytown, Mo., were sentenced in separate appearances before U.S. District Judge Fernando J. Gaitan, according to Bradley J. Schlozman, United States Attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

The two were sentenced in two related cases involving a property-flipping scheme and mortgage fraud, officials said.

Nicodemus was sentenced to five years of probation, including four months of electronic monitoring, and ordered to pay approximately $1.16 million in restitution, officials said. Under the terms of probation, Nicodemus may not work as a loan broker or in the mortgage business, officials said.

Snodgrass was sentenced to five years of probation and ordered to pay approximately $1.15 million in restitution, according to officials.

Nicodemus and Snodgrass are the first defendants sentenced in the mortgage fraud scheme in which six defendants have pleaded guilty, officials said.

The case is the largest mortgage fraud case ever prosecuted in the Western District of Missouri, according to officials, and the scheme encompassed 289 fraudulent loans totaling $19.6 million, with a total actual loss of approximately $11.8 million for the financial institutions that were defrauded, officials said.

Brent Michael Barber, 41, of Belton, Mo., pleaded guilty on Feb. 23, 2006, to 104 counts contained in two federal indictments, officials said. Those indictments, as well as a third federal indictment for which Barber was convicted by a jury, involve separate schemes to defraud mortgage lending companies of millions of dollars, officials said.

Barber admitted that he recruited people to purchase rental properties, assuring them that he would find renters for the properties and sell the properties a short time later, so that the victim-investors would have no financial risk and a guaranteed quick profit, officials said.

Then he provided false information on the loan documents and arranged for inflated appraisals in order to receive approval for the loans, officials said. Many of the buyers would not have qualified for the loans if true information had been given to the lenders, officials said.

Show Comments Hide Comments


Sign up for Inman’s Morning Headlines
What you need to know to start your day with all the latest industry developments
By submitting your email address, you agree to receive marketing emails from Inman.
Thank you for subscribing to Morning Headlines.
Back to top
Keep up-to-date on tools and tactics to impress your clients and outshine your competition with the 2022 virtual bundle.Register Now×
Agent Appreciation Sale: Inman Select for only $85.CLAIM OFFER×
Log in
If you created your account with Google or Facebook
Don't have an account?
Forgot your password?
No Problem

Simply enter the email address you used to create your account and click "Reset Password". You will receive additional instructions via email.

Forgot your username? If so please contact customer support at (510) 658-9252

Password Reset Confirmation

Password Reset Instructions have been sent to

Subscribe to The Weekender
Get the week's leading headlines delivered straight to your inbox.
Top headlines from around the real estate industry. Breaking news as it happens.
15 stories covering tech, special reports, video and opinion.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
Unique features from hacker profiles to portal watch and video interviews.
It looks like you’re already a Select Member!
To subscribe to exclusive newsletters, visit your email preferences in the account settings.
Up-to-the-minute news and interviews in your inbox, ticket discounts for Inman events and more
1-Step CheckoutPay with a credit card
By continuing, you agree to Inman’s Terms of Use and Privacy Policy.

You will be charged . Your subscription will automatically renew for on . For more details on our payment terms and how to cancel, click here.

Interested in a group subscription?
Finish setting up your subscription