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Chico Mortgage Broker Sentenced for Mortgage Fraud

U.S. Attorney’s Office September 14, 2012
  • Eastern District of California (916) 554-2700

SACRAMENTO, CA—Kesha Danine Fortune Haynie, 41, of Chico, was sentenced today by United States District Judge Edward J. Garcia to three years and 10 months in prison for two counts of mail fraud in connection with a mortgage fraud scheme, United States Attorney Benjamin B. Wagner announced. Haynie was convicted by a jury on March 28, 2012 after a six-day trial.

According to testimony presented at trial, Haynie operated Empire Mortgage in Chico. From April 2007 through December 2007, Haynie originated fraudulent loan applications in connection with a cash-back to buyer mortgage fraud scheme. Evidence showed that Haynie promised homebuyers kickbacks from a Chico homebuilder in exchange for purchasing homes. The day after the close of escrow, the homebuilder would write checks averaging $41,000 to the conspirators. Haynie and her co-conspirators would then pay the buyers up to $29,000 of the kickbacks and divide the remainder among themselves. The kickbacks were not disclosed to lenders, escrow officers, or home appraisers. Evidence also showed that Haynie participated in submitting false documents to mortgage lenders in order to obtain the loans.

This case was the product of an investigation by the Federal Bureau of Investigation, the Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation, and the Butte County District Attorney’s Office. Assistant United States Attorneys Russell L. Carlberg and S. Robert Tice-Raskin prosecuted the case.

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