Two Ohio women were indicted Wednesday in the Southern District of Ohio for alleged bank, mail and wire fraud and conspiracy to launder money in connection with a scheme that allegedly involved fraudulent down-payment assistance to buyers.
According to the indictment, Stephanie Corsmeier and Stacey Lester “facilitated the transactions involved in the scheme to defraud.”
In response, in a statement, Stephanie Corsmeier, Stacey Lester and American Security Title Co. denied the allegation that they participated in, or conspired in, mortgage fraud schemes.
The indictment claims that Corsmeier owned and operated a real estate title company, American Security Title, in Ohio, where she employed Lesteras as a disbursement clerk. From Jan. 1, 2000, through Dec. 31, 2004, according to the indictment, the defendants worked with alleged co-conspirator loan officers to facilitate a “down-payment-assistance” scheme.
The alleged scheme involved recruiting home buyers to purchase real estate and financing 100 percent of the sales price of the property with no money down, the indictment alleged.
The alleged conspirators would usually prepare a loan application stating that the buyer had funds available for the down payment and intended to use funds from his/her bank account to make the down payment, according to the indictment, when in fact the buyer didn’t have the funds or the intent to make the down payment.
The indictment alleges that the two women worked with what it describes as “co-conspirators” Clarence Harris and Ike Bronson. Earlier this year, in February, in a plea agreement, Clarence Harris pleaded guilty to a two-count information, a legal document charging him with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, wire fraud and mail fraud. In a plea agreement, Ike Bronson pleaded guilty to charges including mail fraud.
In a statement, the two women said when American Security Title Co. first learned of Bronson’s alleged misdoings, “American Security Title Company refused to do any further business with either individual. Their business with our company was less than 1 percent of our total business, and we never received any payments from Harris or Bronson other than our normal title fees.”