Jury delves into details of alleged fraud - WDAM-TV 7-News, Weather, Sports-Hattiesburg, MS

Jury delves into details of alleged fraud

Day two of the mortgage-flipping trial left jurors with an earful from three witnesses, one of whom defended against claims that a national mortgage company knew fraud was being committed.

The regional operations manager for Countrywide Finance and Alliance Bonding company testified the company originated loans on 41 properties, sold those loans to other lenders but retained their service. 

Defense attorneys for Richard Lucas, Kimberly Castle, and Kenneth Stalnaker, argued that Countrywide knew Lucas was selling distressed properties for an inflated rate while making a profit, but did not stop operations. Attorneys also questioned the company's checklist of requirements on loan and closing procedures.

The third witness, a Maryland investor who bought four properties from Lucas Development, claimed her good credit was used to purchase the properties, allowing her to receive two $8,000 checks after meeting with Lucas, Castle, and another person indicted, Jafus Jones, in Gulfport. But the shocker: That investor is also an employee at the Internal Revenue Service.

The trial resumes Wednesday morning.

The jury in the case was seated Monday.

Hattiesburg attorney Kimberly Castle, alleged ringleader Richard Lucas, and real estate appraiser Kenneth Stalnaker are charged with conspiracy to commit wire and bank fraud. In addition, Castle and Lucas are charged with money-laundering. 

So far, nine other defendants have pleaded guilty and are expected to testify for the government. 

In opening statements, government prosecutors claimed Lucas, who owned Lucas Development and Investments, hatched a scheme in which he and his co-conspirators would buy distressed properties, inflate the appraisals, sell the properties at inflated prices, and pocket the proceeds. 

Prosecutors say Castle handled real estate settlements for Lucas, conducting property closings knowing that borrowers did not personally make the required down payments. 

The trial is expected to last two weeks.    


 

  • Local NewsLOCALMore>>

  • MDWFP holds public hearing for Lamar County hunters

    MDWFP holds public hearing for Lamar County hunters

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 8:26 PM EDT2017-09-20 00:26:48 GMT
    The Purvis Fire Dept. is one of five drop off points for deer heads to be tested by the Miss. Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Photo Credit WDAM.The Purvis Fire Dept. is one of five drop off points for deer heads to be tested by the Miss. Dept. of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks. Photo Credit WDAM.

    Nearly three dozen Lamar County residents and officials gathered for a public hearing held by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks on Tuesday. The department will be conducting voluntary deer sampling from hunter's during the winter months of deer season later this year. Wildlife officials say that Chronic Wasting Disease is a serious issue and affects white-tailed deer populations in multiple areas of the country, and officials have reason ...

    More >>

    Nearly three dozen Lamar County residents and officials gathered for a public hearing held by the Mississippi Department of Wildlife, Fisheries and Parks on Tuesday. The department will be conducting voluntary deer sampling from hunter's during the winter months of deer season later this year. Wildlife officials say that Chronic Wasting Disease is a serious issue and affects white-tailed deer populations in multiple areas of the country, and officials have reason ...

    More >>
  • Cruz receives life sentence for 2016 murder

    Cruz receives life sentence for 2016 murder

    Tuesday, September 19 2017 8:13 PM EDT2017-09-20 00:13:18 GMT
    Melissa Dawn Cruz. Source: Forrest County Sheriff's DepartmentMelissa Dawn Cruz. Source: Forrest County Sheriff's Department

    A 2016 Forrest County murder suspect was....... The trial began on Monday and..... The incident occurred on the night of Friday, July 1, 2016.  According to investigator Nick Calico of the Forest County Sheriff's Department, authorities received a call at around 9:50 p.m. about a "suspicious person" walking on Old Highway 49. A second call was made later about a man lying in the road bleeding near Old Highway 49.  Deputies found Kei...

    More >>

    A 2016 Forrest County murder suspect was....... The trial began on Monday and..... The incident occurred on the night of Friday, July 1, 2016.  According to investigator Nick Calico of the Forest County Sheriff's Department, authorities received a call at around 9:50 p.m. about a "suspicious person" walking on Old Highway 49. A second call was made later about a man lying in the road bleeding near Old Highway 49.  Deputies found Kei...

    More >>
  • Judge Curry has high hopes for Hub City Municipal Court

    Judge Curry has high hopes for Hub City Municipal Court

Powered by Frankly