Bellevue couple indicted in mortgage scheme
July 15, 2008 · Updated 11:19 AM
A Bellevue couple are under arrest following their indictment Thursday, July 10 for Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud and three counts of Wire Fraud.
The indictment returned by the federal grand jury alleges the couple executed a scheme where they would use straw buyers to purchase homes for a price above the homes’ actual value. The homeowners agreed to accept the inflated price, while returning the excess to a company that was, in fact, controlled by the defendants.
In one case, the amount skimmed by the defendants through their company was more than $700,000, federal officials say. The indictment alleges the couple obtained more than $27 million in fraudulent loans on 54 different transactions.
Christopher G. Brooks 38, and Amani R. Moss, 36, both of Bellevue, are alleged to have executed this scheme between January 2005 and May 2007, while working as mortgage brokers. The couple created and licensed a business called Peachtree Development.
Federal officials say that working with other co-conspirators, the couple identified properties where the seller would be willing to overstate the sales price, with the difference between the true sales price and the overstated price going to Peachtree Development.
Brooks and Moss would recruit straw buyers who had good credit to “purchase” the homes at the inflated price. The straw buyers would be paid $7,000 to $10,000.
Conspiracy to Commit Wire Fraud as well as Wire Fraud itself is punishable by up to 20 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000.