Toxic broker

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.)


  1. 1

    Tlazolteotl spews:

    Gee, they guy seems to have both an over-inflated sense of self importance, and a martyrdom complex. Must be a Republican.

  2. 2

    YellowPup spews:

    Reminds me of one of those typical episodes of COPS, on which the drunken father, having been busted for disorderly conduct says at first, “No, sir, I’ve had nothing to drink.” And then, after the cuffs are on, waxes philosophical: “It’s good for my kids to see me like this, so that they will avoid the mistakes I’ve made.”

    Well, I guess, how would they live with themselves if they couldn’t rationalize somehow?

  3. 3

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Let’s make him a lot sorrier by forcing him to work off the billion dollars on a rockpile at 50 cents an hour.

  4. 4

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    Here’s how stupid anti-regulation Republicans are: If we had no traffic laws or cops to enforce them our streets would be chaos. Well, their idea was to have no rules in the credit markets — and the result is chaos. Do you think stupid Republicans learned anything from this? Of course not! Their “solution” for the mess they created is even less regulation! I’ve met rocks with more smarts than most Republicans.

  5. 5


    “You rarely hear much discussion of making sure more fraud cannot occur.”

    Really? You would have had no problem getting a “liar loan” two years ago. Try getting one now.

  6. 6

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @5 Liar loans are currently unavailable because you wingnut fools bankrupted the financial system. Unfortunately, mortgages and business loans to responsible borrowers also are currently unavailable for the same reason. If the financial system ever recovers, liar loans would be back in a flash if you anti-regulation idiots were allowed to run economic policy again. As citizens and voters, it’s our responsibility to our children and grandchildren to make sure you aren’t.

  7. 9

    Roger Rabbit spews:

    @7 Last I heard, Joe is no longer pretending to be a plumber, but is now in Iraq pretending to be a war correspondent, and is thinking about pretending to be a candidate for Congress sometime in the future.

  8. 11

    YellowPup spews:

    @9: You know, I have the sense that on a macro level it’s not healthy for us to have a feeble opposition party, I think Obama recognizes this too. But if Republicans are going to try to crawl further into their cul-de-sac for a few more years, maybe it’s what we need to have a chance to undo all the damage they’ve done.

  9. 12

    Splinter spews:

    I wonder what it will take before the American people are so sick and tired of getting screwed over, that they actually start pulling some of these crooks out of thier ivory towers and start stringing them up in public. Is that what it’s going to take to send a message?