Mortgage fraudster hit with 14.5-year sentence

by Michael Mata30 Sep 2016
Rachel Siders, a former notary public from Roseville, was recently sentenced to 14-and-a-half years in prison by US District Judge John A. Mendez. Siders was convicted for her involvement in mortgage fraud schemes that cost financial institutions north of $17 million.

According to the official press release from the Sacramento office of Acting U.S. Attorney Phillip A. Talbert, federal juries returned their verdicts in two trials—the first in March 2015 and the second in December 2015. Siders was found guilty of multiple counts of bank fraud, mail fraud, wire fraud, making a false loan application, and committing aggravated identity theft. 

According to evidence from the first trial, Siders and her co-defendant, Theo Adams, applied for a home equity line of credit in 2008. The pair used the name of one of Adams’ relatives on an underwater Roseville property owned by Adams. They submitted false tax returns in the relative’s name with inflated income as well as mortgage application documents that contained forged signatures.

Siders falsely notarized the loan application documents, which were sent to Washington Mutual Bank. The bank approved the application and provided a $250,000 line of credit, with Siders receiving $170,000 of the proceeds. The pair soon defaulted after making minimal payments on the loan.

According to evidence from the second trial, from mid-2006 through early 2008, Siders, Vera Kuzmenko (a licensed real estate agent from Loomis), and other defendants engaged in a mortgage fraud scheme. The group secured more than $30 million in residential mortgage loans on more than 30 homes in Sacramento. The homes were purchased through straw buyers.

Kuzmenko received millions from the fraud scheme, while Siders received hundreds of thousands of dollars.
Siders ran the Rocklin office of the escrow company used in the majority of the transactions, helping funnel millions of dollars to her co-defendants.

“[Siders] abused her position as an escrow officer and as a notary public to make this criminal enterprise succeed,” said Talbert. “The sentence imposed is a significant reminder that those who engage in such conduct will be held accountable.”  

“Anyone [who] profits from fraudulent mortgage transactions—whether by creating the scheme or facilitating it—will not escape justice,” said Supervisory Special Agent Dan Bryant at the FBI Sacramento field office. “The FBI aggressively pursues those involved in such large-scale, complex financial fraud matters to seek justice for the victims and protect the regional economy.”

Siders’ co-defendants were also convicted in court and given different prison sentences.

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Mortgage fraud on the rise — report


  • by Ingrid | 9/30/2016 7:47:47 PM

    I am a victim of similar mortgage fraud scheme. An involuntary mortgage was recorded against my property for $207K in July 2004. The lienor is a construction company that never existed the agent for the lienor is the same agent that refinanced my mortgage. I never knew anything about this construction company. I never contracted $207K construction to be done on my home. The notary on the involuntary lien that was recorded is the same notary on my final mortgage document. I never met the notary. I never met the appraiser who was paid $700. The broker was paid $48K. The entire mortgage application was fraudulent. The $207K was paid out to a different company from the lienor. This company and the construction company are not listed with the dept of corporation. One big fraud. I was overcharged on my entire mortgage, insurance, appraisals, recording fees, preparation fees, notary fees.
    I filed a fraud report with my local police dept for the $207K. A fraud case was opened. The police investigated whether construction permits were pulled on my property according to work, materials, labor noted on the involuntary lien. Nothing was found. I identified the mortgage agent from a group of fotos at the police department. The police confirmed the person has fraud on his rap sheet and usually works together with others. The Title insurance company and broker and bank should have gotten background information on the involuntary lien. Why was this lien not recorded before? I believe they were all in collaboration. The entire mortgage was fraudulent and from the charges OCWEN can see this was a predatory mortgage. Plus the theft of $207K. OCWEN was not the servicer at the inception of the mortgage, but OCWEN has a duty and responsibility to make sure that this is a legal mortgage. The CFPB states OCWEN is responsible to have all the documents from inception of the mortgage.
    I'm in foreclosure and OCWEN, the servicer on my mortgage is taking no responsibility. Deutche Bank the purported owner of my mortgage. foreclosed on my house and a year later rescinded the sale and severely damaged my credibility. OCWEN is charging inspection fees to my mortgage. The inspection company is Altasource out of Luxembourg. No one ever came to inspect. Eviction fees are charged to my mortgage when I was never evicted. My original lender was Argent Mortgage, who assigned the note to Ameriquest then to Deutche Bank. Every assignment was done wrong. When I sent OCWEN the docs that proof the wrong assignment OCWEN comes back with another assignment to correct the mistake. I proved to OCWEN the last assignment to Deutche bank was wrong. OCWEN makes no effort to analyze the previous assignments are wrong. Deutche Bank is not the owner of my note. The owner is the original lender, Argent Mortgage. Argent mortgage and argent securities are out of business since 2007. Argent securities never went timely into the pool. The investors were defrauded. There is fraud from beginning to end. I need help and ultimately I'll probably end up in court. Meanwhile, I'm going through this tremendous stress. I'm an elderly woman and have sole title, never been involved in financing my house. I feel like I was targeted.
    I don't know how all these mortgage people collaborated in stealing $207K. The notary used one name on the involuntary lien and another name on my final mortgage document With the same notary number. The banks/lenders in my case Argent, Ameriquest, Deutche Bank are all crooks. The servicers AHMSI,OCWEN,RESIDENTIAL they are crooks. The mortgage broker, agent, notary, title insurance, escrow are in collaboration to defraud.


Is TILA-RESPA a good or bad thing long term?