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Utah mortgage broker charged with construction loan fraud
SALT LAKE CITY (5/24/10)--A federal grand jury returned a 15-count indictment against a Salt Lake City man on charges of bank fraud and making false statements to two credit unions in an alleged scheme to get construction loans approved under false pretenses. The indictment alleges Joshua Lee Butcher, 28, worked with two credit unions--Salt Lake CU and Transwest CU--to broker new home construction loans ranging from about $384,000 to $637,000 (loansafe.org May 21). He is charged with providing false information about borrowers that caused the credit unions to approve and fund home construction loans. Butcher allegedly met with potential borrowers to obtain the financial information for the loan application, said the indictment. Borrowers provided him with accurate information--and sometimes documentation--about their income and assets. The indictment said Butcher knew the borrowers would not qualify for the loans so he prepared and submitted false loan applications on their behalf to induce approval for higher amounts. He received broker fees for the loans, said the court document. The falsified documents included: overstated income; listing of assets which the borrowers did not own; false employment information; applications for owner-occupied homes that the borrowers planned to use as investment homes; and indications that the construction loans were for primary residences of the borrowers when they weren't. The indictments include eight counts of bank fraud, with a maximum penalty per count of 20 years in prison and a $250,000 fine; and seven counts of making false statements, each having a maximum penalty of 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine.


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