5 indicted as probe into flipping continues

Alleged mortgage scams took in nearly $1 million

June 22, 2000|By Gail Gibson | Gail Gibson,SUN STAFF

A federal grand jury has indicted five people in fraudulent mortgage schemes in Baltimore that allegedly cost lenders and buyers nearly $1 million.

The charges, filed in two separate indictments, are the latest in an ongoing federal investigation of illegal real estate practices in the city. Investigators are targeting "flipping" schemes, where low-cost properties are bought and then quickly resold at inflated prices.

The two indictments handed down late last week mark the third and fourth such cases filed this year in U.S. District Court in Baltimore. Real estate appraiser Guy Shaneybrook, already facing charges from one of the earlier cases, was named as a defendant in one of latest indictments with Thomas "Tucker" Mayer and Angus E. Finney, who together operated Heritage Construction and Renovation, which bought, rehabilitated and sold properties in Baltimore.

The second indictment named as defendants Dorinda M. Hughes and Marcia Kirven McNeil, who also faces similar charges from one of the earlier cases.

Shaneybrook, the only defendant who could be reached yesterday to comment, said he was surprised by the charges because he had been cooperating with FBI investigators. He also said the appraisal work he did for Mayer and Finney was honest and accurate.

The indictment against Shaneybrook, Finney and Mayer alleges that the men defrauded buyers interested in buying rental properties in Baltimore and the lenders involved in the sales. The indictment charges 17 counts of mail or wire fraud for allegedly misrepresenting the value or condition on 17 different property sales in Baltimore on which they obtained $469,606 in mortgages.

Hughes and McNeil each face three charges of mail or wire fraud to secure mortgages worth $476,925. In addition, each woman faces one count of bankruptcy fraud for allegedly concealing information in their personal bankruptcy cases.

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