Florida man charged in mortgage fraud

March 19, 2009 04:10PM

A Florida businessman was charged today in New York City with participating in an alleged $800,000 mortgage fraud scheme, federal authorities said.

Kirk Lacey, of Pembroke Pines, allegedly submitted fraudulent mortgage applications in order to defraud homeowners and lenders in New York, the United States Attorney for the Southern District of New York said.

Lacey, a representative of NNI LLC, a company involved with real estate transactions, along with Lavette Bills, the CEO of Bronx-based MTC Real Estate, surrendered this morning to federal authorities.

Prosecutors said in one example of the fraud, Bills convinced a homeowner to put Bills’ name on the deed with the promise that she would obtain a new mortgage to help the property owner make repairs and pay down the original loan.

Instead, Bills resold the house to a straw buyer who had obtained another loan under a fraudulent loan application with Lacey’s assistance, the US Attorney’s office said.

Bills and Lacey garnered $150,000 from the scheme, and the home owner is now in foreclosure proceedings, authorities said.

Bills hosted programs on WBLS, 107.5 FM, and WLIB, 1190 AM, where she discussed topics related to foreclosure, prosecutors said.

Bills and Lacey, both 36, were each charged with conspiracy to commit bank fraud, and face 30 years in prison on the charge, the US Attorney’s office said. TRD