Realtor pleads guilty to mortgage loan scheme
Jodi D. Robinson is to be sentenced July 13 in U.S. District Court.
By Carol Hazard
, Times-Dispatch Staff Published: April 13, 2011
Updated: April 14, 2011 – 12:00 AM
Richmond-area Realtor Jodi D. Robinson would take a piece of property she owned, find an unqualified buyer, doctor the loan application for that person, sell it at a higher price, pay off the first mortgage and pocket the rest, according to court documents.
The scheme caught up with her.
Robinson, 38, pleaded guilty Wednesday in U.S. District Court to a multiyear, four-part scheme involving $2.4 million worth of mortgage loans in 16 real estate transactions.
Robinson admitted to obtaining loans that defrauded Washington Mutual Bank; SunTrust Bank; the Federal National Mortgage Association, known as Fannie Mae; the Federal Home Loan Mortgage Corp., known as Freddie Mac; and the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development’s Section 8 voucher program for needy people, according to court records.
Total loan losses were estimated at $1.2 million, records show. Total losses to HUD were about $105,000.
Robinson, who owned Citicorp Investments LLC real estate firm, faces up to 30 years in prison and $1 million in fines. She will be sentenced July 13.
U.S. Magistrate Judge M. Hannah Lauck said at Wednesday’s hearing that Robinson must relinquish her real estate license.
The scheme involved four overlapping parts.
In some transactions, where Robinson was simply the real estate agent, she and her accomplices would misrepresent a borrower’s employment status and overstate monthly employment income, so the person would qualify for a loan, court records show.
The second part of the scheme involved transactions in which Robinson was not only the agent but also was buying and selling properties she rented. She secretly used people who wouldn’t qualify for mortgage loans to buy the properties.
The mortgage loan applications were fraudulent on several levels, according to court records.
The applications did not disclose Robinson as having any interest in the deal. Also, financial information was falsified to enhance the buyers’ creditworthiness, court records show.
Another part of the scheme involved HUD’s rental voucher program for needy people.
Robinson applied to HUD so that properties she controlled could qualify for HUD’s subsidized rental program. She falsely represented that she was the owner of the properties, records show. HUD rental subsidies were sent to Robinson, who used the money to make monthly mortgage payments.
To make more money on rental properties, Robinson would “sell” properties at higher prices to the unqualified buyers who would fraudulently obtain higher mortgage loans, according to the criminal report.
Some “buyers” supposedly worked at Prestige Limousine Service in Henrico County, court documents show. Prestige was owned by Robinson’s father but controlled by her.
Robinson prepared documents showing one particular “borrower” supposedly earned $4,765 a month as a limousine driver, so the person could quality to buy a $159,000 house in 2006. The person actually had total income of $7,800 that year, according to court records.
Robinson would obtain access to the proceeds of the new loan, records show.
The case was investigated by HUD’s Office of the Inspector General, the U.S. Postal Inspection Service and the FBI, Richmond Division. Assistant U.S. Attorney David T. Maguire is prosecuting the case.
Tucker Griffin Barnes P.C.