Mortgage Fraud Criminal Sentenced in California

Even as the California real estate market was moving along at top speed in 2007, some industry professionals were tempting fate with fraud schemes.

This week, another Californian was convicted of mortgage fraud and sentenced to 57 months in prison in a family-operated kickback scheme that dates back to 2007.

Niche Savon Fortune was arrested in Chico, CA, after authorities discovered that he was offering a percentage of his kickbacks to homebuyers in exchange for referrals to a certain homebuilder. According to court documents, the Chico homebuilder would write checks—averaging $41,000—to Fortune’s front company the day after escrow closed. Fortune and his co-conspirators would then pay the homebuyers a portion of this money and keep the remainder for themselves.

Additionally, Fortune was charged with submitting false documents to lenders in order to receive the mortgage loans.

Fortune’s sister, Kesha Danine Fortune Haynie, was convicted on the same charges last month for her role in the fraud operation. Both her and her brother are currently in custody and awaiting trial.

In May, the siblings will face a restitution trial to determine the amount to be repaid to the victims of the scheme.

Why do some people still think they will get away with this? As fraud investigations and convictions continue to pile up, have you noticed a change in the industry?