LAS VEGAS—A local attorney and a mortgage loan officer have been charged with conspiracy to commit bank, mail and wire fraud for allegedly participating in a scheme to obtain mortgage loans from financial institutions using straw buyers and false loan applications, announced Daniel G. Bogden, United States Attorney for the District of Nevada.
Stanley Walton, 52, and Pamela Black, 62, both of Las Vegas, were indicted by the federal grand jury on Wednesday, February 16, 2011, on one count of conspiracy to commit bank, mail and wire fraud and criminal forfeiture. They were summoned to appear for an arraignment and plea on Wednesday, February 23, 2011, at 3:00 p.m. before U.S. Magistrate Judge Robert J. Johnston.
According to the indictment, from about September 22, 2004, to January 24, 2007, Walton, an attorney who practices in Las Vegas, Black, a mortgage loan officer, and other unindicted co-conspirators, allegedly conspired to recruit straw buyers with good credit to purchase houses in Henderson and Las Vegas. The indictment does not charge Walton with acting as an attorney when he engaged in the alleged fraudulent conduct. The straw buyers were paid by Walton to place the homes in their names, and they did not intend to occupy the homes.
Walton and Black then allegedly created and submitted loan applications containing false and fraudulent information about the straw buyers’ employment, income, intent to occupy the property, and disposition of the loan proceeds. Walton allegedly assisted in this regard by providing false employment verifications for some of the straw buyers at a company he owned.
Walton and Black concealed from the lenders that Walton and his companies were receiving the cash back monies at closing and also concealed that, in some instances, Walton intended to use the cash to make mortgage payments and to pay straw buyers for participating in the scheme.
Black received commissions from her employer as a result of the fraudulently obtained loans.
The indictment specifically identifies six homes in Henderson and two homes in Las Vegas for which mortgage loans were obtained using fraudulent documents submitted by the defendants. The indictment alleges that upon conviction, the defendants shall forfeit up to approximately $2.5 million of proceeds traceable to these alleged crimes.
The investigation is being conducted by the FBI, and the case is being prosecuted by Assistant U.S. Attorney Kathryn C. Newman.
The public is reminded that an indictment contains only charges and is not evidence of guilt. The defendants are presumed innocent and are entitled to a fair trial at which the government has the burden of proving guilt beyond a reasonable doubt.