Wednesday, February 11, 2009

A Nessacery Tutorial

Last week news broke that a mortgage company located in Sacramento turned out to be a Ponzi scheme. As this news was about to be broadcast and published, one of the key players chartered a private jet and fled the country. Then it came to light that there were actually three key players and all three had fled the country within the past year.
I've been following this story because the mortgage company in question spent the past year leasing one of the suites in the office building where I work.
The further things unraveled, it turned out that this mortgage company was not actually a Ponzi scheme, but allegedly was purchasing real estate and selling the properties to "straw buyers".
A "straw buyer" is someone whose credit is used to purchase a property and secure financing. Sometimes they cooperate willingly and sometimes they are victims of identity theft, but it's always illegal.

This scheme has allegedly resulted in the fraud of about $100 million from lenders.
On Tuesday, two of these men were detained. One was arrested in Spain where he is being held, and is currently fighting extradition to the US. A second, the one who chartered the private jet, had flown from Las Vegas to Ireland, then from Ireland to Lebanon, then from Lebanon to Canada. In Canada he was attempting to take a taxi across the border where he was arrested.
What have we learned about attempting to flee the US?
1. Research what countries have extradition treaties with the US. Then don't go there.
2. Once you've fled the country, DON'T COME BACK.
3. Criminals are dumb.

Read the whole story here.

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