U.S. settles with two NY-based appraisers accused of fraud

TRD New York /
Jun.June 28, 2011 06:48 PM

Two New York-based appraisers accused of mortgage fraud settled with the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development for a total of $100,000 and agreed not to perform appraisals in sales involving Federal Housing Authority-insured loans for a number of years, the U.S. Attorney’s Office announced today.

James Goldberg, founder of JGG Real Estate Appraisal Services, and Robert Micheline, of P&M Appraisals, allegedly conspired to inflate the value of 11 New York area homes, so that flip sellers — Buy A Home and Mitchell Cohen were two such sellers named in the report — could unload the properties on “inexperienced homebuyers” for profit. Moreover, the inflated values allowed mortgage lender Cambridge Home Capital to issue larger loans. All 11 cases involved loans insured by HUD, and all eventually defaulted. Goldberg and Micheline earned several thousand dollars from their fraudulent appraisals, but the flippers earned hundreds of thousands of dollars in profits and the defaulted loans put the government at risk for millions of dollars in losses.

“When an appraiser fails to do the work that they were paid to do, or fraudulently inflates the value of the home, it not only affects the homeowner, but also the community around it,” said Michael Stephens, deputy inspector general for the HUD’s office of the inspector general. “This case represents an example of how we vigilantly hold appraisers accountable for the work that we count on them to do.”

Goldberg denied all wrongdoings, but agreed to pay $75,000 in civil penalties to the United States, and to not participate in HUD-related appraisals for three years. His attorney, Aurora Cassirer, was not immediately available for comment. Micheline neither admitted nor denied the allegations, but agreed to pay $15,000 in damages and $10,000 in civil penalties to the United States and to not appraise homes with HUD-insured loans for five years. His attorney, David Duhan, was not immediately available for comment. — Adam Fusfeld


Related Articles

arrow_forward_ios
Paul Manafort and Manhattan District Attorney Cyrus Vance Jr. (Credit: Getty Images)

Judge tosses mortgage-fraud case against Manafort

Secretary of the Department of Housing and Urban Development Ben Carson (Credit: Getty Images and iStock)

“Rich people are going to get richer anyway”: HUD Secretary Ben Carson dismisses concerns that Opportunity Zones will only benefit rich people

Florida man sentenced in $3.5M mortgage fraud scheme that targeted Orthodox Jewish community

Florida man sentenced in $3.5M mortgage fraud scheme that targeted Orthodox Jewish community

Penny Bradley (Credit: Getty Images)

Upper East Side developer funded “lavish lifestyle” through mortgage fraud: Manhattan district attorney

448 East 143rd Street in the Bronx (Credit: Google Maps)

Private developer’s NYCHA project in Mott Haven lands $79M in financing

Morgan Management's Robert C. Morgan and the Avon Commons apartment complex in Avon, N.Y. (Credit: Rochester Institute of Technology)

Lenders poised to take over apartment empire amid massive mortgage fraud probe

How a New York mortgage broker scammed large banks and Fannie and Freddie

How a New York mortgage broker scammed large banks and Fannie and Freddie

DA Vance indicts Manafort on pardon-proof mortgage fraud charges

DA Vance indicts Manafort on pardon-proof mortgage fraud charges

arrow_forward_ios
Loading...