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Guilty Mortgage Fraud Pleas in Case of Failed Bank

mortgagedaily.com | April 9, 2014

By Robert Patrick

ST. LOUIS -- Two St. Charles County businessmen admitted defrauding a Missouri bank that later failed, the U.S. Attorney's office said.

James Crews, 56, of Wentzville, and Michael Hilbert, 62, of St. Charles, pleaded guilty in U.S. District Court here to one count of bank fraud. They admitted to making false statements to Sedalia-based Excel Bank about money that was supposed to go to fix up rental homes that they financed through the bank, prosecutors said.

Their indictment says that the men owned dozens of rental properties in the area, and did business under a series of names: Crews Corp., Hillcrew Properties, Merz Properties, Eagle Group and Marathon RE.

A local branch refinanced 29 separate loans in one $2 million pool in February of 2010, including $175,000 that was supposed to go to rehab, the indictment says.

Excel refinanced 16 separate loans in June of 2010 in a $575,000 pool, of which $225,000 was rehab funds, the indictment says.

The pair submitted false documents to be reimbursed for rehab that was never performed, the indictment says.

They stopped making payments in November 2010, and the bank accepted the deeds in lieu of foreclosure in December of 2011, the indictment says.

The bank failed in 2012, having also failed to repay $4 million in funds from the Troubled Asset Relief Program, or TARP.


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CFLA was founded by the Nation's Leading Foreclosure Defense Attorneys back in 2007 to serve the Foreclosure Defense Industry and fight pervasive Bank Fraud. Since opening our virtual doors, CFLA has rapidly expanded to become the premier online legal destination for small businesses and consumers. But as the company continues to grow, we're careful to hold true to our original vision. For us, putting the law within reach of millions of people is more than just a novel idea—it's the founding principle, just ask Andrew P. Lehman, J.D.. With convenient locations in Houston and Los Angeles, you can contact Our National Account Specialist and General Manager / Member Damion W. Emholtz at 888-758-2352 for a free Mortgage Fraud Analysis or to obtain samples of work product, including cutting edge Bloomberg Securitization Audits, Litigation Support, Quiet Title Packages, and for more information about our Nationally Accredited and U.S. Department of Education Approved "Mortgage Securitization Analyst Training Certification" Classes (3 days) 24 hours for approved CLE & MCLE Credit (Now Available Online).

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