ST. LOUIS (AP) - A California man has pleaded guilty to a federal charge stemming from a mortgage audit scam that authorities say bilked consumers out of more than $400,000.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that 30-year-old Derek Thomas Doherty, of Irvine, Calif., owned and ran Home Safe Financial. He offered homeowners in Missouri and elsewhere an audit for $3,000 and a free loan modification. But Assistant U.S. Attorney Dianna Collins said in court that Doherty never completed an audit.
Doherty started the business in St. Louis, moved to Overland Park, Kan., in May of 2010 and then merged with a California company in July of that year.
Collins says consumers lost more than $400,000 to the scheme.
Doherty could face 15 to 21 months in prison on the felony mail fraud charge.
EAST ST. LOUIS, Ill. (AP) - Two southwestern Illinois women have been ordered to spend at least two years in federal prison and repay more than $54,000 each for their roles in an income tax scheme.
A judge in East St. Louis sentenced 39-year-old Angenita Smith of Alton to 24 months in prison. Thirty-seven-year-old Tammy Smith of Alton was sentenced to 26 months behind bars. It isn't immediately clear if the women are related.
The Smiths pleaded guilty last October. Prosecutors say they falsely prepared W-2 tax forms and provided them to relatives and friends to enable them to get refunds by filing bogus federal income-tax returns.
The U.S. government says the Smiths lied to investigators, resulting in an increase in their prison sentences.