Wednesday, June 18, 2008
Mortgage Fraud On My Block (409 31st Ave. N.)
Larry D. Maxwell is a
bad, bad man.
Yesterday, Jeff Skrenes of Hawthorne Area Community Council told me some of the back story on 409 41st Ave. N., the "House of the Soggy Bears." It turns out there was some rather notable and high-profile mortgage fraud at that address perpetrated ...
...by Larry D. Maxwell, pictured above,
In my photo of the house, which was built in 1886, you can see the graffiti left there before I painted it over in black, and now I've "painted over my paint-over" in gray. This is the house where a bunch of teddy bears, flowers, and one rain-ruined Sharpie marker were left to grow moldy and sloppy in the rain in a makeshift memorial to some guy who was shot for unknown reasons...but he was not actually shot right there at the house.
So I'm told.
According to Jeff, the house has tax liens on it from the IRS due to Larry D. Maxwell's fraudulent (but profitable) activities, which makes matters complicated for anybody to try to buy the house in question.
So 409 31st Ave. N. sits, subject to break-ins and vandalism. Furthermore, the feds are very difficult to deal with because of the sheer volume of mortgage fraud. So if somebody like Jeff Skrenes were to call the appropriate fed and say, "Hey, we have this empty house in our area, and it's becoming kind of a problem and a magnet for crime" the answer would be, "Get in line behind the 10-foot pile, sir."
According to a blog about mortgage fraud, Maxwell has a history of mortgage fraud going back to 2001, when he was sentenced on a federal mortgage fraud charge. (All of this info, below, comes from the mortgage fraud blog, which obtained its info from an article by Steve Brandt of the Star Tribune)
Maxwell, age 52, currently faces charges involving $1.2 million or more in mortgages in an area "from Bloomington to Blaine."
And now from Bloomington, to Blaine, to Johnny's Block. He is charged with 10 counts of fraud. Charges were made against Realty Executive Advantage Group, which was operated from Maxwell's north Minneapolis riverfront condo. For the record, Maxwell's attorney Larry Reed says his client will plead not guilty. (As distinguished from saying his client is innocent) It should be noted Reed bought a house from Maxwell and represented Maxwell in the previous federal case.
There are four other "uncharged conspirators" in the racketeering count, which are Vickie Cox-Maxwell (Larry's wife) and Larry Scott, his son, both of which are agents of Realty Executive. Also charged is mortgage broker Terrece Large of Worldwide Mortgage Inc., where Maxwell was a loan officer (how cozy and intimate!) and Halisi J. Edwards-Staten, who is apparently the real estate broker for Realty Executive.
According to the criminal complaint, Edwards-Staten lives in Ge0rgia, which would violate state law requiring a licensed broker to monitor Realty Executive.
Edwards-Staten was an unsuccessful candidate for county commissioner in 1996. She resigned from a state supervisory position the following year after being suspended during an investigation into whether she had done anything improper in awarding a $50,000 contract to a non-profit group run by her then-husband, former legislator Randolph W. Staten.
According to the criminal complaint, illegal activity began in approximately June of 2006, right when Maxwell's five-year probation expired from his 2001 case, where he admitted submitting false documents so that a client could obtain a federally insured home loan. Maxwell's new (allegedly) criminal dealings came to light when a Plymouth resident complained his identity had been stolen to buy properties, first in Minneapolis and then in Bloomington.
Maxwell's attorney blames the criminal activity on the unidentified man, saying this man came to (poor, innocent, almost-off-probation) Larry Maxwell with a false identity. Maxwell found out about it--the attorney claims--and went to the mortgage company in an attempt to determine the man's identity. (Yes, that's always where I go when I want to determine somebody's identity, straight to a mortgage company) (Here there should be a type font for sarcasm)
According to the criminal complaint--and I'm not reading any explanation from Maxwell's attorney for these particular ugly facts--dozens of fraudulent loan applications were found after a search of Maxwell's home and office in November of 2007. Maxwell was arrested the same day and bail was set at $250,000.
Lender Centennial Mortgage and Funding, Inc., of Bloomington--where Maxwell obtained some loans--told investigators it suspected fraud in 10 property transactions.
I have to wonder at what point fraud was suspected, and how this timing might play out if a lawsuit for predatory lending ever came out of this. (Though, for the record, I haven't heard anybody suggest such a thing)
In the end..it all rolls downhill to my little block, where Khameron NMN Lake and his prostitute, Kathy, break into 409 31st Ave. N. until it is securely boarded...where crap is dumped in the lawn as somebody in a truck sorts through cargo...where graffiti adorns the door of 409 31st Ave. North to memorialize somebody dead from criminal violence.
Meanwhile, people like Larry D. Maxwell made so much money the IRS is apparently trying to find some of it. (The owner of this particular house is listed as Vicki Cox-Maxwell)
And yet the block is turning around, and if there is nothing else true of 409 31st, at least this much is true right now: that house is secured.
Misc. info about the house:
Larry Maxwell and Vicki Cox Maxwell are listed at 2309 River Pointe Cir Minneapolis, MN 55411.
Sale history went like this:
June 7, 1996, the house was sold by somebody named Van Ryswyk to a guy named "Carter Edgar" for a mere $37,000. Some history appears to be missing, but in May of 2005 the house was apparently owned by a Bashir Moghul, who sold the house to Threshold Investments, LLC for $170,000. About one year later, in April of 2005, Threshold sold the property to Vicki Y Cox Maxwell for $175,000.
By the way...Jeff Skrenes has promised to send me an email explaining, in detail, a phenomenon called "one transaction flipping."
I am looking forward to receiving that and sharing it on this blog.