Published Thursday, Nov. 20, 2008 | 3:10 p.m.
Updated Friday, Nov. 21, 2008 | 11:10 a.m.
A 64-year-old Las Vegas man, Mathew Marlon, pleaded guilty this morning to a mortgage fraud scam.
District Court Judge Michelle Leavitt sentenced Marlon to pay a $20,000 fine to the state and ordered that he pay restitution to Clark County of $89,990.60 for property transfer taxes that were owed on properties.
He pleaded guilty to nine gross misdemeanor counts of making false representations on titles and one count of gross misdemeanor of making a fraudulent conveyance in connection with a mortgage foreclosure rescue scam, Nevada Attorney General Catherine Cortez Masto said. The victims were in Las Vegas.
Judge Leavitt also ordered Marlon to pay restitution to the victim homeowners in the amount of $43,009.40. The total restitution payment is $130,000.
Marlon's guilty plea and sentence followed an investigation done by the Nevada Secretary of State's Office working with the attorney general's mortgage fraud task force.
The investigation revealed that between July 2007 and November 2007, Marlon falsely told homeowners facing foreclosure that he would buy their houses and land in Clark County for a price that equaled the sum of the outstanding mortgages, together with a small cash payment, and promised that he would pay off the mortgages to prevent the properties from going into foreclosure.
Marlon asked each homeowner to sign a grant bargain sale deed and declaration of property value form, indicating a transfer of the property from the homeowners to various corporations alleged to be owned by the various homeowners.
The documents were false and a fraud, investigators said, because the homeowners weren't the owners of the corporations and the only purpose of the transfer was to allow Marlon to record the grant bargain sales deeds in the names of the various corporations to conceal his identity and avoid paying transfer taxes to the county.
"It is my hope that successful prosecutions such as this will have a deterrent effect and prevent or lessen the rise in mortgage-related crimes in our community," Cortez Masto said.
Consumers who wish to report mortgage fraud are being asked to contact the Attorney General's Bureau of Consumer Protection in Las Vegas at 486-3194 to obtain a complaint form. Forms are also available online at www.ag.state.nv.us.
Editor’s note: This story has been corrected. An earlier version mispelled Marlon’s last name..