Misrepresentation – that is a common component in many mortgage fraud schemes. In this case, that key component seems to be true – at least that’s what John Joseph Baumgartner is charged with as part of a 14 count federal indictment. According to the US Attorneys news release, Baumgartner, 45, was arrested without incident on those charges at the Pantex Plant in Amarillo, where he is employed by the National Nuclear Security Administration.
While Baumgartner is innocent till proven guilty, more times than not, when an indictment is handed down in a case like this – there is a conviction on one or more parts of the indictment.
The indictment alleges that in September 2006, Baumgartner applied for and obtained an $840,000 conventional, cash-out refinance mortgage for a property located at 1022 South Wilton Place in Los Angeles. As part of the scheme, Baumgartner falsely represented that he was purchasing the Wilton Place property as his current and primary residence. Baumgartner misrepresented his income and retirement account funds and misrepresented that he had rental property on Briarwood Drive in Amarillo that generated $1700 per month in rental income. When Baumgartner obtained the refinancing funds, he didn’t use them in the manner he represented in his application for refinancing, but instead diverted the bulk of the funds to a casino account at Caesar’s Palace in Las Vegas.
Every choice has a consequence. Once again, need is met with opportunity all to meet a likely tragic outcome. As a white collar crime and business ethics speaker, I see, all to often, tragic stories of people who, otherwise are learned, competent citizens, making choices that have a disastrous effect on their lives. A conviction could carry up to a 20 year federal prison sentence, and most likely will have a sentence that removes Baumgartner from his family, friends and co-workers.
How often I wish I could embed in the minds of people – think before you make that unlawful or unethical choice. The consequences of poor choices are significant and far reaching.
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