Mortgage

CEO of banned lender Seckel Capital charged with lying to HUD

John Seckel accused of making false statements to HUD about company’s finances

Back in July, the Department of Housing and Urban Development banned Pennsylvania-based mortgage lender Seckel Capital from originating or underwriting Federal Housing Administration-backed mortgages after an investigation found that company repeatedly lied to the FHA about its financials.

As part of the action, HUD also suspended the company’s owner and CEO, John Seckel, from doing business with the federal government.

As it turns out, the government isn’t done with Seckel though.

The Department of Justice announced Wednesday that it is charging Seckel with four counts of making false statements to HUD.

When HUD announced its decision in July, it said that Seckel and Seckel Capital “knowingly and fraudulently submitted false financial statements to the government certifying there were audited by an independent accounting firm when, in fact, they were not.”

HUD’s investigation also found that Seckel’s fraudulent misrepresentations were not an isolated incident.

“HUD found that Seckel Capital and John Seckel engaged in a years-long pattern of submitting false financial statement to FHA, representing them as properly audited by independent certified public accountants,” HUD said at the time.

Those repeated misrepresentations appear to be the basis of the charges against Seckel.

The DOJ alleges that Seckel maintained the status of Seckel Capital as an FHA-approved lender from 2012 through 2015 by making false statements to HUD.

“In particular, on four occasions from 2013 to 2016, Seckel filed audited financial statements for Seckel Capital that Seckel had forged,” the DOJ said in a statement. “Seckel also, four times, filed certifications falsely claiming that he had met the net worth and other requirements to be approved as an FHA lender.”

Back in July, Seckel Capital’s website stated the company operated in 13 states: California, Colorado, Connecticut, Delaware, Florida, Kentucky, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Texas, Virginia, along with Washington, D.C.

The company’s website also stated that the company offered conventional, fixed-rate mortgages, adjustable rate mortgages, home equity lines of credit, jumbo loans, Department of Veterans Affairs mortgages, Home Affordable Refinance Program mortgages, Department of Agriculture mortgages, reverse mortgages, stated-income loans, commercial loans, as well as FHA and FHA 203(k) rehab/construction loans.

But the company’s website appears to be no longer active. All that appears on the site now is a company logo.

If convicted, Seckel faces a maximum statutory sentence of eight years in prison.

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