Thursday, May 8, 2008

Mortgage Lender Sued, Pocketed $44 Million

From Inman News, here's an excerpt from an article they ran today about a mortgage lender getting sued for shenanigans.

Leib Pinter, 64, is accused of fraud in connection with the alleged theft of $44 million in proceeds from refinance loans funded by Fannie Mae.

According to an indictment filed by the United States Attorney for the Eastern District of New York, Pinter's company Olympia Mortgage Corp originated and serviced mortgage loans owned by Fannie Mae. Some of those loans were refinanced through Olympia, with Fannie Mae wiring money to an Olympia account.

Instead of paying off the underlying mortgage loan by remitting the outstanding balance to Fannie Mae, Pinter is accused of pocketing the proceeds. By the time the scheme was discovered, Fannie Mae held nearly $44 million in unpaid, but refinanced, mortgage loans from Olympia, prosecutors said.

Yikes! Maybe in addition to a terrorist watch list, we need a lender fraud watchlist. It might help solve the problem we seem to be having, where most folks want to help homeowners who got duped into a loan they couldn't afford, but nobody wants to help guys like Pinter and homeowners who knowingly took out a mortgage they couldn't afford.