Dublin man pleads guilty in mortgage fraud scheme

Last Updated: Fri, Jan 18, 2013 10:46 hrs

Columbus, Jan 18 (IBNS) Gordon L. Yocom of Dublin, Ohio, pleaded guilty to conspiracy to commit money laundering for fraudulently obtaining a mortgage loan to finance the purchase of a real estate property in Powell, Ohio.

Yocom, 44, agreed to forfeit $119,000, which represented the proceeds of this transaction.

Carter M. Stewart, United States Attorney for the Southern District of Ohio; Darryl Williams, Special Agent in Charge, Internal Revenue Service-Criminal Investigation (IRS-CI); and Edward J. Hanko, Special Agent in Charge, Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI), announced Yocom's plea which was entered on Thursday before U.S. District Judge Michael Watson.

According to court documents, Yocom owned and operated a mortgage brokerage business called Gordon Lending. Yocom and an employee of his, Nancy Rayfus, worked to arrange for a buyer to purchase a property located at 10577 Durham Place in Powell, Ohio.

The buyer was from California, but it was Rayfus' intent to reside at the property. The purchase contract was negotiated so Rayfus could obtain substantial cash payments at closing through the submission of two false invoices.

Yocom knowingly provided funds to Rayfus in the amount of $123,500 for the purpose of funding the majority of the down payment for the purchase this property.

Yocom purchased two official checks out of accounts that he controlled. The checks were made payable to Landsel Title.

Yocom disguised the fact that he was the one providing the funds by having the bank place a variation of purchaser's name as the remitter on each of the checks.

Yocom and Rayfus agreed that she would pay back the money used for the down payment from the proceeds of the sale of this property.

Rayfus arranged for $350,000 to be paid to her from the seller's proceeds by submitting false invoices to the lender for renovations supposedly performed at this property by companies under her custody and control.

These renovations were never performed, and Rayfus was issued two checks payable to My Home Specialists Network and Norvath Group from Landsel Title in the amounts of $187,500 and $162,500, respectively.

Rayfus deposited these funds into her bank accounts and then wrote a check payable to Yocom for $119,900, which Yocom deposited into his bank account. At the time of this deposit, Yocom was aware that these funds were the proceeds of false statements made to the lender.

Conspiracy to commit money laundering is punishable by up to 10 years in prison and a fine of up to $250,000 or twice the value of the property involved, whichever is greater.

Yocom was released on bond pending his sentencing, for which a date has not yet been set.

On December 29, 2011, Nancy Rayfus pleaded guilty to one count of money laundering and is scheduled to be sentenced on February 14, 2013.

Stewart commended the cooperative investigation conducted by IRS and FBI agents as part of the Southern Ohio Mortgage Fraud Task Force, along with Assistant U.S. Attorneys Laura Fulton and Dan Brown, who are prosecuting this case.

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