Las Vegas Sun

October 20, 2014

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Homebuilder faces prison time after conviction on mortgage fraud charges

A federal jury convicted a Las Vegas homebuilder of mortgage fraud crimes at the conclusion of his 12-day trial, Nevada's U.S. Attorney Daniel Bogden announced Friday.

Paul Wagner, 56, is the first homebuilder in Nevada to be prosecuted and convicted of mortgage fraud offenses since 2008, officials said.

Wagner was convicted of one count of conspiracy to commit bank fraud and wire fraud, six counts of bank fraud and three counts of wire fraud, officials said.

Officials said Wagner sold houses at inflated prices so he could fraudulently obtain mortgage loans and defraud federally insured banks and lenders for more than $8 million.

The scheme, which began March 2007 and lasted through mid-2009, worked like this, prosecutors said: Wagner would offer large cash incentives to buyers, real estate agents and others to sell his homes. The incentives included Wagner paying buyers' mortgage payments for several months, paying buyers' down payments and giving large cash payments to real estate agents and others to find buyers for his homes.

To pay for all the incentives, Wagner inflated the value of his homes by causing appraisers to draft false appraisals, officials said.

He concealed the incentives from lenders, who officials say would not have made the loans had they known his methods.

Wagner used this scheme to sell 78 houses, many of which went into foreclosure when he stopped making payments. The tract homes he built were in the northwest valley.

Wagner, a homebuilder in Las Vegas for 20 years, is scheduled to be sentenced Jan. 14, 2013. He faces up to 30 years in prison and a $1 million fine for each count.

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  1. Ok, so now where are the indictments and convictions of the low life buyers of these properties who wanted to make a bundle by buying houses, living in them for two years, and then flipping them?

  2. If you are interested in seeing the complete picture of the scumbags (Wall Street to Main Street), read "All the Devils Are Here".

  3. "Ok, so now where are the indictments and convictions of the low life real estate agents/brokers, the scumbag appraisers, and vermin mortgage brokers?"

    artswanson -- you beat me to the punch

    Obviously the prosecutors went after the deep pocket among them.

    "In the general course of human nature, a power over a man's subsistence amounts to a power over his will." -- Alexander Hamilton, Federalist Paper 79, 1787-88

  4. "Suddenly he can't make payments on his 2 Lexus', alimony payments, the palm Springs vacation condo....."

    TomD -- since none of that was in this article, you got these facts from where? Looks like you're doing your usual, making it up as you go. It's why you have no credibility here.

    "The regulators got bailed out, the middle class lose their jobs and their houses. All this desire to trust in the government to make sure that big corporations won't hurt them actually is a backfire on them." -- Rep. Ron Paul to Jon Stewart 9/26/11, citing the example of the real estate crash as example of government regulation gone bad

  5. When will the DA go after builders who didn't follow the building code? Homeowners are stuck with substandard housing that needs lots of repair and "maintenance" especially a few years later.