Wayne County real estate scam?


January 16, 2013 by Benji

The below article was published today about a local Detroit Metro real estate broker who was (allegedly) scamming the system. Its sad to say that folks like this still exists. The idea that a broker would submit offers lower than the one he got on the street to pocket the difference is incredible. I know a lot of real estate professionals, this is not the norm. If you are looking at real estate transactions, evaluate who you are dealing with trust your gut, and make a decision.

Dont forget, this man is innocent until proven guilty. If he is found guilty, then throw the book at him.


Redford Twp. real estate broker charged in $488K fraud scheme

By Christine Ferretti January 16, 2013 at 4:00 pm  From The Detroit News:

Detroit — A Redford Township real estate broker was arraigned Wednesday on charges connected to an extensive mortgage fraud scheme. Samer Salami, 32, of Canton Township is charged with 12 counts in the case involving multiple Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac properties in nine Wayne County communities. Prosecutor Kym L. Worthy said during a news conference Wednesday that Salami is alleged to have run the $488,000 operation from August 2007 to April 2010 while employed at Villa Realty in Redford Township. The “breakthrough” case is the first in the nation where there’s been a state prosecution of a criminal enterprise involving the mortgage giants, Worthy said. “The nine Wayne County cities allegedly ripped off — that’s almost a quarter of the Wayne County cities,” Worthy said, adding hardships that have and could have been suffered by those who’ve been defrauded is “devastating.”

Redford District Court Judge Karen Khalil entered a not guilty plea on Salami’s behalf Wednesday. Bond was set at $3 million. He’s due in court for a pre-examination hearing on Jan. 22. Salami’s attorney, Doriad Elder, said Wednesday his client denies the allegations. “The government has a theory of their case. My client looks forward to his day in court,” said Elder, adding Salami has no prior criminal record and turned himself in to police.

In connection with the Fannie Mae properties, Salami is charged with two counts of conducting a criminal enterprise, one count of embezzlement of more than $100,000 and using a computer to commit a crime, all 20-year felonies. He’s also charged with three counts of false pretences or more and using a computer to commit a crime, 10-year felonies. For the alleged Freddie Mac operation, he’s charged with one 20-year felony count conducting a criminal enterprise, as well as embezzlement of $50,000 to $100,000, two counts of false pretences and one count of using a computer to commit a crime. Prosecutors say Salami was a registered agent for the two mortgage giants and under his agreement with the agencies he was required to list homes and obtain the highest offer. He was also required to forward all offers to Fannie Mae and Freddie Mac for an ultimate decision. But Worthy said Salami would list the properties without specifying the properties were Fannie Mae or Freddie Mac, and once he had an offer from a bona fide buyer, he would place an offer on the properties for a lower amount than the buyers on behalf of his own company, Trademark Assets. He would then pocket the difference and a commission, Worthy said. The mortgage companies and buyers weren’t aware of the operation or that Salami owned Trademark. Worthy said the case involved properties in Dearborn and Dearborn Heights, Detroit, Ecorse, Taylor, Lincoln Park, Melvindale, Southgate and Redford Township. Salami is accused of defrauding Fannie Mae of about $182,000 and about $266,000 for Freddie Mac.

Worthy declined to speak further about the case, which is part of a larger investigation by the FBI, she said. The phone number listed for Villa Realty on Plymouth Road was disconnected Wednesday. Federal Housing Finance Agency Deputy Inspector General Michael Stephens called the alleged incident “shameful” and commended the Wayne County Prosecutor’s Office for assembling its own Mortgage and Deed Fraud Task Force. The collaborative group is the first in the country. “We’re dealing with this nationwide. We’re making significant progress,” Stephens said. “Here in Detroit, the task force put together an impressive model that I encourage to be used throughout the country, and I congratulate the initiative here to get it done.” Worthy said the homes involved in Salami’s case are occupied by the buyers. The investigation was conducted with cooperation from the Wayne County Prosecutor’s and Sheriff’s offices, Register of Deeds Bernard J. Youngblood and federal housing officials. (313) 222-2069 From The Detroit News:

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