DENVER—The United States Attorney for the District of Colorado, John F. Walsh, announces that a former mortgage broker from Loveland has paid a penalty of $50,000 for false statements made on residential mortgage loan applications. Julie Ann Stephenson paid the fine in settlement of civil allegations that she committed fraud on loan applications that affected federally insured financial institutions.
According to the agreement between Ms. Stephenson and the United States, Ms. Stephenson personally generated, or participated in a conspiracy to generate, at least 12 mortgage loan applications from straw buyers that contained false representations. For example, on or about November 27, 2006, Ms. Stephenson generated two loan applications for the same straw buyer representing that the straw buyer would occupy each of the two different residential properties as a primary residence at the same time. According to contemporaneous documentation, Ms. Stephenson knew these representations were false at the time they were made.
According to the terms of the agreement, Ms. Stephenson was required to pay $50,000 in civil penalties. She will also forgo any future opportunity to work as a mortgage broker or loan originator.
“Mortgage fraud corrodes our financial system, harming investors and homeowners, with taxpayers often asked to help pick up the tab,” explained United States Attorney John Walsh. “This recovery demonstrates that mortgage brokers cannot knowingly turn a blind eye to lies on loan applications, and those who do face stiff penalties.”
“This fine is a strong reminder there are serious consequences for committing mortgage fraud and IRS-CI stands ready to partner with our law enforcement partners to pursue individuals who commit mortgage fraud,” said Sean Sowards, Special Agent in Charge, IRS-Criminal Investigation, Denver Field Office.
“Working with our partners and the United States Attorney’s Office, we will use all available tools to protect our housing market from deceit and misrepresentation,” said FBI Denver Special Agent in Charge James Yacone.
The United States Attorney’s Office thanks the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the Denver Field Office of the Federal Bureau of Investigation for their contributions to the investigation that enabled the settlement recovery.
This case is part of President Barack Obama’s Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force. President Obama established the interagency Financial Fraud Enforcement Task Force to wage an aggressive, coordinated, and proactive effort to investigate and prosecute financial crimes. The task force includes representatives from a broad range of federal agencies, regulatory authorities, inspectors general, and state and local law enforcement who, working together, bring to bear a powerful array of criminal and civil enforcement resources. The task force is working to improve efforts across the federal executive branch and, with state and local partners, to investigate and prosecute significant financial crimes, ensure just and effective punishment for those who perpetrate financial crimes, combat discrimination in the lending and financial markets, and recover proceeds for victims of financial crimes.