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Fraud Alert: Appraiser Identity Theft

02/22/2017. The Office of Inspector General (OIG) at the U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development (HUD) uncovered a series of cases of appraiser identity theft. The schemes varied but resulted from someone using the State certification number of a Federal Housing Administration (FHA) roster appraiser. The FHA roster appraiser was unaware of the misuse until it came to light, usually by accident. Read More

Ex-Easton lawyer admits to helping defraud homeowners facing foreclosure

 02/22/2017 (Source: BRIDGEPORT—A month after his co-conspirator pleaded guilty, a lawyer formerly of Easton has switched his own plea and admitted to participating in a scheme that took advantage of distressed homeowners.

Bradford Barneys, 51, pleaded guilty Tuesday in a federal court in Hartford to one count of conspiracy to commit mail and wire a fraud, according to a statement from the office of Connecticut U.S. Attorney Deirdre Daly.

From his law offices in Bridgeport, Barneys provided co-conspirator Timothy Burke a veneer of legitimacy as he defrauded struggling homeowners, according to the DOJ.

“Between approximately 2011 to at least 2014, (he) participated in dozens of meetings with Burke,” according to a DOJ statement. “At the meetings, Burke represented to homeowners that he would purchase their properties and presented to the homeowners quitclaim deeds, management agreements, indemnification agreements, and third party authorizations.”

According to officials, Barneys know that Burke was offering a fraudulent lifeline homeowners facing foreclosure. He stood by as Burke arranged fake sales of their homes, promising to take on their mortgage debt. He also helped Burke evict tenants from the houses he rented.... Read More