A mortgage originator from Chicago stands accused of running a reverse mortgage scam and defrauding elderly homeowners and lenders out of $7 million.
According to the U.S. Attorney’s Office for the Northern District of Illinois, Mark Steven Diamond is a mortgage loan originator with offices in Chicago and Calumet City, Illinois.
Diamond is currently facing seven counts of wire fraud after being accused of fraudulently causing lenders to make reverse mortgage loans to homeowners who either did not sign up for the loans or did so after Diamond allegedly misrepresented the terms of the loans.
The indictment alleges that Diamond fraudulently kept the loan funds for himself after convincing title companies to give the checks to him instead of the homeowners.
According to the indictment, Diamond targeted his victims, who ranged from ages 62 to 97, based on how much equity they had in their homes and whether they were financially sophisticated or not.
Additionally, the indictment states that if one of the relatives of Diamond’s alleged victims questioned whether a reverse mortgage was a good idea, Diamond would visit the victim’s home at a time when he knew the relative would not be there.
All in all, Diamond allegedly defrauded the lenders and homeowners out of $7 million.
Diamond pleaded not guilty to the seven counts of wire fraud.
Also listed in the indictment is Cynthia Wallace, who allegedly solicited homeowners into agreeing to allow Diamond to perform home repairs on their homes, despite Wallace know that Diamond would not actually perform the work.
The indictment also states that Wallace used several aliases and posed as a representative of the Department of Housing and Urban Development to fraudulently obtain money from victims.
Wallace pleaded not guilty to nine counts of wire fraud and two counts of falsely pretending to be an employee of the United States.
The indictment also seeks the forfeiture of $7 million from Diamond.