Industry News

Defendants face long prison sentences in mortgage fraud scheme

Jury returns guilty verdicts in Mississippi scheme; 10 guilty so far

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Three people convicted by a jury in a Mississippi mortgage fraud case Wednesday, including an appraiser, face the possibility of long prison sentences when they are sentenced in February. Richard Lucas, the alleged ringleader of the scheme, and Kimberly Castle were each found guilty of one count of conspiracy to commit bank and wire fraud, one count of bank fraud, nine counts of wire fraud and money laundering. Lucas was accused of controlling a scheme in which defendants bought distressed property in Hattiesburg, Laurel, Petal and Gulfport, obtained inflated appraisals, and flipped the properties for a profit. Appraiser Kenneth Stalnaker was found guilty on nine counts in connection with the mortgage flipping scheme; at least seven other people facing federal charges in the scheme have entered guilty pleas, including some of those who testified against Lucas, Castle and Stalnaker. Appraiser Jacqueline Mosley, who pleaded guilty in March to a single count of bank and wire fraud, said...