A Solon builder and a former US Postal clerk tied to over $15 million in mortgage fraud are going to prison. The two were the first to be sentenced in a mortgage fraud ring that involved at least 38 homes in Solon and Glenwillow. ideastream's Mhari Saito reports.
Like a lot of builders, Edward Emery, Jr. hired contractors to help him put up homes. In court, Emery's lawyer Patrick Quinn explained how his client went wrong.
Patrick Quinn: In the beginning, he thought they were legitimate deals, then he realized the work wasn't being done, so at some point he knew it wasn't what it appeared to be, and at that point he should have got out, but he didn't. He continued to do more transactions.
Thirty-eight such transactions that involved buyers like Eloise Anderson. Anderson pleaded guilty to signing loan documents that lied about how much money she earned as a US Postal worker. Anderson said the title company gave her $38 thousand dollars to sign. Cuyahoga County Pleas Court Judge Eilleen Gallagher sentenced builder Emery to 34 months in prison and buyer Anderson to 11 months. Gallagher said mortgage fraud was helping the county earn the "dubious distinction of having one of the highest foreclosure rates in the nation." The title company owner involved in the case has pleaded guilty and has admitted cooking deals on over 100 more homes around the county. She faces sentencing later this year. In Solon, police say there are over three dozen more homes under investigation for fraud and that number is growing. Mhari Saito, 90.3.