Employees Given Gifts for Altering Documents in Foreclosures

18 Oct

The fraud and criminal activity of the foreclosure process has now begun to roll out into the media- and through the Attorney General’s offices:  This one is from Florida – the hotbed of the fraudclosure wars where homeowners have been routinely having their homes stolen from them with blatantly fraudulent documents.

How much more of this to people need to see to understand that the entire system is corrupted? How many illegal foreclosures have gone under the bridge already?  How many thousands more are coming? Who is going to stop this blatant abuse of the law?

It may very well be that the only way it will stop is when the people get mad enough and smart enough to join together and fight back… We shall see.

Certainly even the members of Congress making noise over it are being warned not to ‘play politics’ with the foreclosure issue – what exactly is that anyway?  “Playing politics”? Is it actually acknowledging that attornsys are now having to resort to breaking in to their clients’ homes to make the point that their homes are being stolen illegally from them?

Witness: Foreclosure firm owner gave gifts for altering documents

TAMPA – Some employees of Florida’s largest “foreclosure mill” were given jewelry, cars and houses from the firm, in exchange for altering and forging key documents used to obtain foreclosures, according to a statement released today by the Florida Attorney General’s Office.

The office released transcripts of two interviews it conducted for its investigation into the law offices of David J. Stern. The sworn statements were from Kelly Scott, a former employee of Stern’s and Mary R. Cordova, a former employee of G&Z, a process server used by Stern’s office. The women’s testimonies appear to back up that of former Stern’s employee Tammie Lou Kapusta, whose statement was released last week. The three statements paint a picture of a secret system designed to speed up the foreclosure process. Attorneys and staff members forged signatures, changed dates, passed around notary stamps, the women say in interviews with attorney general’s staff.

The two former Sterns employees described long tables where employees would sign as a witness and notarize documents without actually witnessing the signing. Twice a day, Scott said, the company’s chief operating officer, Cheryl Samons, would go into the office and sign 500 documents at a time – without reading them.

Scott was Samons’ legal assistant.

As a perk of Samons’ job, Stern’s office would routinely pay her personal mortgage, a car payment, her electric bills and her cell phone bill, according to Scott, who told investigators Stern also bought Samons a new BMW sport utility vehicle every year and gave her and other employees jewelry. Additionally, Stern purchased employee David Vargas a house, a car and a cell phone, Scott claims in her statement.

Scott said the office would move forward with cases, even if they knew the homeowner had not been properly notified of the lawsuit.

Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac were Stern’s “babies,” Scott said, and they routinely questioned documents and came to the office to check files. Last week Freddie and Fannie said they would audit Stern’s files.

Someone inside both organizations would tip Sterns off to the visits, and Stern’s staff would then alter client codes and hide files, according to Scott’s statement. When Fannie and Freddie employees left, they’d bring the files back out. The other witness, Cordova, worked at G&Z for two months. The firm, which handled service for various foreclosure law firms, had special instructions for Stern, the firm’s main client, according to Cordova’s statement.

Every file was billed for at least four people to be served with the foreclosure paperwork, even if the firm knew there weren’t that many people with interest in the property. These bills were sent out before the parties were served and, often, Cordova said, the company didn’t follow through with the service. These bills are paid by the lenders and, eventually, passed along to the homeowners. Kapusta, whose statement was initially released last week, said she was fired after she questioned procedures. The other two employees said they left on their own.


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