This is a fascinating story from California about a mortgage broker who is admitting all kinds of fraud.
The seven-page essay by Christopher Warren, 27, replaced the home page of Triduanum Financial which abruptly closed its doors last month.
Warren said his career in the mortgage industry began when he was still a teenager and took a job with the now-defunct Ameriquest in 2001. Warren claimed he manipulated loan applications to secure financing and eventually hacked into the Ameriquest computer system to approve loans himself with no oversight.
Warren said he left Ameriquest three years later with the personal information of 680,000 Ameriquest customers to start his own mortgage banking operation in Sacramento called WTL Financial.
“At the ripe old age of 22, a fraudster trained by the best corporate environment for fraud, I built a company modeled after the movie Boiler Room,” Warren wrote.
Warren said WTL Financial faked credit scores and W-2s to peddle loans to investors who failed to scrutinize the files.
And now he’s very sorry.
In his essay, Warren said he helped ruin the nation’s economy and hopes his experiences can help reform the mortgage and banking systems.
“Almost a billion dollars of toxic assets came from me,” he wrote. “Looking back at the life I have led, I beg a higher power for forgiveness.”
I guess what we really don’t know is how many of these people are still out there, working in the industry. (And yes, there are many honest mortgage brokers! I’m glad we had one in the early part of this decade, it worked out well.)
But the outright fraud and theft has yet to be reckoned with, and it’s still damaging the economy. When people talk about “fixing the housing market” you rarely hear much discussion of making sure more fraud cannot occur, other than in an abstract, “we’ll get to real reform at some point” fashion.
Meanwhile, gimme another $20 billion, suckers, and don’t tell us how to pay our executives. It may be your taxpayer money but it’s our town.
(Props to The Mortgage Lender Implode-O-Meter.)