An Atlanta woman who was previously arrested for allegedly using a stolen identity to obtain a refinance loan was arrested again last week in connection with an FBI sting involving a co-conspirator from her prior mortgage fraud case, officials said Monday.
Lanamasha Weslanda Mixon-Hampton, 30, was previously arrested at the closing table Feb. 17, in an FBI sting where the stolen identity of a disabled retiree was used in an attempt to obtain a million-dollar refinance loan for the Atlanta property where Mixon-Hampton then resided.
On March 14, Mixon-Hampton was released on bond and indicted for the mortgage fraud and aggravated identity theft, authorities said.
The latest FBI sting also involved the interstate transportation of stolen travelers checks, fraudulent credit cards and false identifications.
Atlanta has been a hotbed for mortgage fraud, according to FBI accounts. Residential real estate loan fraud is a national epidemic, costing communities nationwide an estimated $1 billion in 2005, compared to $429 million in 2004, the agency says.
“The sting operations that resulted in both arrests of this defendant are examples of the tools now used by law enforcement to fight identity theft and mortgage fraud schemes that continue to adversely effect Atlanta citizens and their neighborhoods,” U.S. Attorney David E. Nahmias said. “Such proactive initiative by law enforcement is one of the reasons that Georgia’s mortgage fraud national ranking has recently decreased from number one to number three.”
Mixon-Hampton is charged with mail and wire fraud, interstate transportation of stolen goods and commission of these offenses while on release for alleged mortgage fraud crimes, according to court documents.
The defendant allegedly caused $50,000 worth of stolen American Express Travelers Cheques to be sent to her in Atlanta from Hawaii, then attempted to negotiate the checks using a false identity and forwarded the remainder to Florida for sale and negotiation.
Mixon-Hampton was arrested in an FBI sting on May 30, 2006, when cash “proceeds” from the stolen checks and the fraudulent credit card she had ordered were delivered to her, while she was on bond on the earlier mortgage fraud charges.
Defendant was ordered detained without bond after appearing before U.S. Magistrate Judge Linda T. Walker on Monday, officials said.
FBI Special Agent in Charge Greg Jones said that the agency is “committed to continuing such investigative techniques as needed until the mortgage fraud and identity theft problem in this area is under control.”
Read the Inman News white paper, “Inside Real Estate’s Fraud Crisis: Schemes that Hijack the American Dream.”