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Loan officer admits role in fraud scheme

Federal trial was set next week; cohorts got prison, big IOUs

– A Fort Wayne loan officer pleaded guilty Thursday in U.S. District Court to charges related to a mortgage fraud scheme.

John Carlisle, who was 49 at the time of the February indictment, was scheduled to stand trial next week in federal court in South Bend on a 13-count indictment accusing him of bank fraud, wire fraud and making false statements regarding mortgage loans.

On Tuesday, Carlisle filed a guilty plea with the court, and a hearing was conducted Thursday. In the plea agreement, Carlisle pleaded guilty to four counts of making false statements regarding mortgage loans.

According to court documents, from 2008 to 2010, Carlisle worked with Ryan Webb and Johnny Stine and others to purchase low-end homes. Using advertisements, they attracted buyers for the properties, “flipping” them for two to three times what was paid for them.

Because the buyers often couldn’t qualify for the mortgage loans, Webb and Stine provided money for closing, to make it appear the buyers had money in reserve. Carlisle helped prepare phony “gift letters” to document the money came from family or relatives of the buyers, in violation of federal mortgage regulations.

The properties frequently ended up in foreclosure, according to court documents.

A year ago, Stine and Webb pleaded guilty to their roles in the scheme. U.S. District Judge Jon E. DeGuilio in South Bend sentenced each man to 21 months in prison and two years of supervised release.

They each also had to pay $585,000 in restitution – $159,548.15 to 1st Source Bank and $425,451.85 to the Department of Housing and Urban Development Financial Accounting Division Collections.

Another man was also indicted in connection with the scheme. Brian A. Edwards was accused of making false statements in connection with a mortgage loan and mortgage insurance. He pleaded guilty and is scheduled for sentencing in early August.