orlandosentinel.com | July 28, 2015
Osceola County Clerk of Court Armando Ramirez hired a company owned by a felon — convicted in a $64 million scam in the 1990s that stole money from the U.S. government — to review county mortgage records last year.
Ramirez employed David Paul Krieger's company, DK Consultants LLC of San Antonio, in June 2014 and paid the company $34,500 to find out whether Wall Street banks had illegally foreclosed on hundreds of local homes, records show.
Foreclosures remain a hot-button issue in Osceola County, where slightly more than 58,277 owners have lost their homes since 2007. That's 45.6 percent of total housing, the country's second-highest foreclosure rate, according to RealtyTrac.com.
Ramirez selected Krieger's company to audit Osceola foreclosures without seeking other bids, records show. Krieger is director and managing member of the company, records show.
"[It] shall be for the purpose of supplying forensic evidence to the State's Attorney for criminal and eventual civil prosecution," according to the contract Ramirez signed July 12, 2014. "The clerk agrees that he has exercised care and due diligence in determining the competency of [Krieger] to conduct such a forensic examination."
But federal court records show Krieger took part in an anti-government movement in the 1990s that funded itself through nationwide mortgage fraud.
Known as Family Farm Preservation, Krieger and others sold fake money orders to those seeking to pay off government-insured mortgages, according to an indictment unsealed May 16, 1996, in federal court in Milwaukee.
That was the same day Krieger, now 62, was arrested in east Texas by FBI agents after a three-year investigation. Records show there were many involved in selling the money orders, but only nine were charged in the scheme.
Krieger was held for five days in the Smith County Jail in Tyler, Texas, and charged with conspiracy to defraud the United States and six lesser felony charges involving three counts of fraud and three counts of swindling.
The indictment stated that in a single week in 1993 Krieger sold and mailed $344,733 in bogus money orders for clients to banks, government offices and mortgage companies. Not just a dealer, Krieger used the worthless money orders to try to pay his own debts, including $5,984 owed in Kansas for child support, records show.
Krieger avoided prison by testifying during the federal trial in Milwaukee against his co-defendants, who received up to 16 years in prison. He was convicted of conspiracy to defraud the U.S. and sentenced Feb. 5, 1997, to three months of home confinement followed by three years of probation and a $1,000 fine. The other charges against Krieger were dropped as part of the plea bargain.
Nancy Duffy McCarron, CBN 164780
Attorney, Real Estate Broker, BBB Arbitrator, CA Notary Public
Certified Forensic Loan Auditor, Property Manager
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