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Former St. Clair Housing Official Charged with Fraud

 (Source: thetimesherald.com) Aug. 8, 2017 The St. Clair Housing Commission’s former executive director is facing a fraud charge for allegedly misusing federal rental assistance funds and commission credit cards to benefit herself and family members. 

The charges allege Lorena Loren embezzled more than $300,000.

According to federal court documents filed Monday, Loren used Section 8 housing assistance payments to enter into fraudulent rental contracts on multiple occasions, including up until the time she left the position in August 2016. The fraudulent contracts were for properties in Port Austin, Bay City, and St. Clair, among others.

Federal prosecutors allege Loren utilized those contracts to deposit money meant to help low-income people pay for housing into multiple bank accounts. Prosecutors said the money benefited Loren and family members, including her son and husband.

She also is alleged to have used the housing commission’s credit cards at the Port Huron Township Sam’s Club, multiple Walmart stores and Amazon.com for a range of personal purchases, including adult and infant clothing, furniture, food, beauty supplies, medications, other household items and alcoholic beverages between 2010 and within the last two years.

Those purchases totaled a little more than $165,800, with most going to Amazon.

The charge is conspiracy to commit federal program fraud...

Risk For Mortgage Fraud Increases Slightly - CoreLogic

 Aug 7, 2017. CoreLogic says conditions in the mortgage market are once again fertile ground for mortgage fraud.   The company's National Fraud Risk Index hit a new high of 132 in the first quarter of this year versus 113 in the first quarter of 2016 and 122 in the fourth quarter.

Jacqueline Doty, executive, and product management for CoreLogic's Collateral Risk Solutions, reports in the company blog that hitting a "new high" isn't particularly momentous in this case, as the Index has only been around for a few years.  It was established in 2010 after the high levels of fraud that existed during the housing boom had dropped along with mortgage volume.  She said today's heightened number doesn't necessarily mean there is a lot more fraud occurring, just that conditions are present for it to increase.
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