Thursday, December 13, 2007
Guilty Plea in Missouri Mortgage Fraud Case
Leslie Saunders II, 34, Kansas City, Missouri, pled guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering stemming from a $14 million mortgage fraud that had focused on low income borrowers. Saunders had been involved in the same mortgage fraud scheme that triggered a federal indictment against six others in early November, 2007. He had not been identified in the indictment and was charged separately.
According to his plea, Saunders admitted that he conspired with others to get mortgage loans fraudulently by submitting inflated appraisals of the properties and other false information to lenders. Specifically, Saunders participated in a fraud involving a residence in the 12400 block of East 58th Street, Kansas City, Missouri. A loan on the property was gained by using an appraisal that bore the forged signature of a supervisory appraiser, federal officials said.
Saunders caused more than $198,000 from the loan to be transferred to an account belonging to Scott Alexander, a Merriam man indicted Nov. 7. Federal officials also said Saunders stipulated that he participated in illegal acts that led to actual losses of $2.5 million.
Saunders faces as much as 20 years in prison and $500,000 in fines at his sentencing set for February 11, 2008.
Others indicted were Wildor Washington Jr., Leawood, Missouri, Maurice Ragland, Lee’s Summit, Missouri, Victoria Bennett, Leawood, Kara E. Robinson-Franks, Grandview, Missouri, and Terrence Cole, Kansas City, Missouri.