Industry News

Two indicted in Tucson mortgage fraud case involving 21 properties

Pair allegedly used straw buyers to obtain $13M in loans

Two men who allegedly used straw buyers to obtain $13 million in loans on nearly two-dozen properties in Arizona have been indicted on charges of conspiracy to commit fraud and money laundering. Tucson residents Frank Padilla, 36, and Carlos "Charlie" Bent, 35, were arraigned Aug. 24 and were being held in federal custody as flight risks, according to a press release from the U.S. Attorney's Office for the District of Arizona. Between September 2004 and June 2006, Padilla and Bent allegedly approached the owners of 21 residential properties that had been on the market for some time without selling. The owners were told their properties were worth more than the listed price, and Padilla and others were hired as sales agents under "net listing" agreements allowing Padilla to keep sales proceeds above the asking price. Padilla, Bent and others allegedly created fake documents -- including false employment verifications, mortgage loan applications, bank statements and contractor's licens...