Olivia Covington for www.theindianalawyer.com
A northern Indiana couple convicted in a mortgage fraud scheme has lost its second appeal of the spouses’ sentences, with the 7th Circuit Court of Appeals ruling in its second opinion in the case that the district court did not err in calculating loss or imposing time served.
In 2005, Adrian Tartareanu and Minas Litos established a house-flipping business known as Red Brick Investment Companies. Together with Daniela Tartareanu — the only Red Brick employee with a real estate license — the company helped buyers with bad credit or limited finances apply for mortgage loans and sold 45 houses to these buyers between 2007 and 2009.
Though Red Brick provided down payments funds for each sale, the company falsely stated on loan applications that its buyers used their own money. The trio also helped buyers lie about their creditworthiness by reporting fictitious incomes and nonexistent bank accounts. After closing, Red Brick once again made undisclosed payments to their buyers to ensure they could make at least two payments on their loans before defaulting.
In 2008, Bank of America began an investigation into loan officer Stephanie Riggs’ loan files, which included 32 Red Brick sales loans. Riggs admitted the loan applications possibly contained false information, leading to her termination and the Tartareanus’ convictions on 16 counts of wire fraud and one count of conspiracy to commit wire fraud.