Ex-foreclosure mogul faces trial over company’s alleged fraud

David Stern (Credit: Bill Warner)
David Stern (Credit: Bill Warner)

The Florida Bar trial began this week for David J. Stern, the onetime foreclosure mogul and attorney facing legal misconduct and fraud charges over his Plantation-based home repossession company.

Jeff Tew of Miami-based Tew Cardenas, who represents Stern, said his client is a scapegoat and referred to the attorney general’s probe as “bogus.” The 83-page complaint, filed in Broward County, claims that one of Stern’s top-ranking workers allowed her name to be signed by others and was rewarded with high pay and a new car. Tew argues that Stern, who had 1,500 employees at one point, can’t be expected to know all of their moves. His company was one of the biggest so-called “foreclosure mills” in Florida before it closed in 2011. It was hit with allegations of forgery and notary fraud.

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The trial kicked off with three judges serving as witnesses, each of which had filed complaints.

The attorney general’s investigation halted last year when the Florida Supreme Court upheld a ban that prevented the state from relying on the Florida Deceptive and Unfair Trade Practices Act against the firm. [Palm Beach Post]Mark Maurer