Carolinas Mortgage Fraud Leader Sentenced to 6 Months, $2 Million Fine

Mortgage Fraud Ringleader Receives 6 Months in Prison and $2 Million Fine

mortgage fraudThe ringleader of one of the biggest mortgage fraud schemes in the Carolinas was sentenced on Thursday, October 17th, to 6 months in prison with a $2 million fine.

Mark Dain, CEO of Total Realty Management, must pay TD Bank (formerly Carolina First) in Myrtle Beach for seven fraudulent loans his company obtained for Georgetown residents of the Craven’s Grant neighborhood. The site along Winyah Bay was supposed to have 292 homes, but none of the lots were developed and most of the loans went into foreclosure.

All told, Dain has been ordered to repay $7.1 million to four banks, but, due to Dain’s sentencing agreement, the banks will only see a small portion of that money, as Dain will only be required to pay $250 per month. If Dain were to repay the full restitution at that rate, it would take 2,366 years.

Additionally, mortgage fraud federal law says that Dain must serve a minimum sentence of seven to nine years in prison, but prosecutors agreed to a reduced sentence of just 6 months. They say it was because Dain cooperated with prosecution during the investigation of the mortgage fraud case.

Dain’s Woodbridge, VA-based partner, Mark Jalajel, has not yet been charged.

“My life in my mid-20s was a series of immoral and terrible decisions,” Dain said, according to Jackman’s reporting. “I take absolute accountability for that.”

Court documents show that TRM falsified Craven’s Grant and other subdivisions’ loan applications by inflating buyers’ wages, submitting false pay stubs and tax forms, and misrepresenting their job duties so the potential buyers would receive larger loans. The company also deposited money into the potential buyers’ bank accounts to make it seem, to lenders, as though they had more assets. The buyers then returned the money when the loans were approved.

When the real estate bubble burst, the buyers were stuck with high-interest loans and low-value properties they could not sell.

Dain also has ties to a company in North Myrtle Beach called Legacy Estates, where home sites were sold to investors at inflated prices, and loans went into foreclosure before homes could be built. When payments came through Legacy Estates, six-figure commissions were transferred to a company called Carolina Waters, which was co-owned by Jalajel and Dain.

Mortgage Fraud Charges in South Carolina

Mortgage fraud is the misrepresentation of information or the omission of information on a mortgage application in order to obtain a loan or obtain a higher loan offered by the lender had they known the truth.

While “flipping” properties is legal, it becomes illegal when a nominee or straw buyer buys the property.  A nominee/straw buyer is one who buys the property for another person because the other person already has loans out on other property. If the nominee/straw buyer defaults on the mortgage, which was the case for many with the downturn of the economy, the investor may face charges of fraud for using deception to obtain the loan.

Mortgage fraud is a serious offense with stiff penalties. If convicted of mortgage fraud, you could face upwards to 30 years in prison and harsh penalties.

The Strom Law Firm Can Help with Mortgage Fraud Charges

At Strom Law Firm, LLC, our federal criminal defense attorneys provide comprehensive legal services designed to protect your rights and your interests. Our lawyers are licensed in South Carolina, New York, and Georgia. Even if you feel your involvement in the mortgage fraud scheme was minor, you may still face charges. We understand what is at stake, which is why we will fight aggressively for your name and your reputation. Call the South Carolina Criminal Defense Lawyer at the Strom Law Firm today for a free case evaluation. 803.252.4800.

Speak Your Mind