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Branson real estate agent pleads guilty to mortgage fraud

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A Branson real estate agent on Friday pleaded guilty before U.S. Magistrate Judge James England to her role in a $391,519 mortgage fraud scheme, according to a news release from Beth Phillips, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Missouri.

Vickie Kay Lind, 48, pleaded guilty to all four counts contained in a June 22, 2010, federal indictment.

Lind admitted that she participated in a wire fraud conspiracy and a money laundering conspiracy from Aug. 1-Oct. 3, 2005, and she also pleaded guilty to a count of wire fraud and a count of money laundering, according to the release.

Doing business as My Realty Co. LLC, Lind defrauded Overland Park, Kan.-based First Magnus Financial Corp. of $391,519 by submitting fraudulent documents to receive mortgage loans for a home in Ozark, a home that Lind was actually living in at the time. The seller and buyer of the home were unnamed in the release.

In order to obtain the loans, Lind submitted false documentation claiming a separate individual was leasing the property for $3,500 per month. According to the release, First Magnus approved the buyer's loan application based on the condition of the lease and would not have otherwise, as the buyer's debt-to-income ratio was too high.

Lind illegally obtained $70,000 from the loan proceeds, while the seller received roughly $310,000. Lind submitted a false invoice to direct a $25,000 payment to Elite Home Alliance, Lind's own company that had not performed any work. The money actually was used for Lind's own benefit. She also submitted a fraudulent invoice for the remaining $45,000 to Gold Pointe Homes, which also had not performed any services. Those funds actually were used by Lind to repay a friend in Arizona, who had loaned money to Lind so she could live in the Ozark home until it could be sold for a profit, according to the release.

Lind declared bankruptcy in October 2005, and the buyer could not make the monthly mortgage payments or sell the property, so it fell into foreclosure.

Under federal statutes, Lind could be subject to a prison sentence of up to 70 years and a fine of up to $750,000. She will be sentenced following a presentence investigation by the U.S. Probation Office.

The case is being prosecuted by Supervisory Assistant U.S. Attorney Michael Oliver and was investigated by Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation and the FBI.[[In-content Ad]]


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