Cox Charges Man in Mortgage Fraud Scheme


LANSING, MI – August 10, 2009 – (RealEstateRama) — Attorney General Mike Cox today announced that his office, with the assistance of the Michigan State Police, filed charges against former Lansing resident Jeffrey Barry for conducting a mortgage fraud scheme involving five fraudulent mortgages worth nearly a half-million dollars. Barry, of Houston, Texas, is charged with five counts of obtaining mortgage proceeds under false pretenses. He was arrested today in Houston, and will be extradited to Michigan.

“Mortgage fraud is a serious threat to Michigan’s economy,” said Cox. “Crimes like these are a major contributor to the declining housing market that is ruining family finances.”

It is alleged that Barry would approach a homeowner at risk of losing their home to foreclosure, operating as a “mortgage foreclosure rescue” agent. Barry would offer to buy the home and sell it back to the homeowner under a land contract, thereby saving their home from foreclosure. However, the defendant would ‘fake’ the down payment by giving the homeowner a check but demanding it be returned almost immediately for various reasons, making the down payment an illusion. By using the “down payment” as proof of his financial investment in the property, Barry would obtain a mortgage from a bank under false pretense.

The five mortgages in question, worth a combined $451,707, were obtained between January 2005 and May 2005. As a result, Barry is charged with five counts of false pretenses over $20,000. Each count is a 10-year felony.

While the properties are located in Jackson, Haslett, Eaton Rapids, Durand and Battle Creek, charges were filed in 65A District Court in St. Johns because closings for the sales took place in Clinton County.

The Attorney General’s office and the Michigan State Police began investigating Barry after receiving a referral from the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation.

“I would like to thank the Michigan State Police and the Office of Financial and Insurance Regulation as we continue working together to tackle mortgage fraud in the State of Michigan,” said Cox.

Attorney General Cox has made prosecuting mortgage fraud a priority for his office. In 2008, Cox created a mortgage fraud unit, teaming up with the Michigan State Police and other law enforcement agencies to tackle the problem. Barry is the 18th person or company charged with a mortgage fraud-related offense by the Attorney General in the last 12 months. Cox’s office has also held several mortgage foreclosure forums to help families stay in their homes during these difficult times.

A criminal charge is merely an accusation and the Defendant is presumed innocent unless proven guilty

Contact: John Sellek or Matt Frendewey 517-373-8060


Michigan RealEstateRama is an Internet based Real Estate News and Press Release distributor chanel of RealEstateRama for Michigan Real Estate publishing community.

RealEstateRama staff editor manage to selection and verify the real estate news for State of Michigan.


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