By Norm Heikens
A federal grand jury in Indianapolis has charged two more individuals in an alleged mortgage scheme, the U.S. Attorney's Office for the Southern District of Indiana said yesterday.
Timothy Hampton and Mia Weir made down payments on houses on behalf of buyers and assured the buyers that tenants would be found who would pay enough rent to cover the mortgage payments and create a profit, the office said.
Hampton and Weir then misrepresented the price of the houses to lenders and reaped the difference between the purchase price of the houses and the inflated values.
Hampton, 41, operated a business called Home Corp.; Weir, 43, was a mortgage broker with AK Mortgage. Both companies are in Indianapolis.
The mortgage applications didn't disclose all prior purchases through Hampton and Weir, which resulted in a skewing of debt ratios for the buyers. The lenders, few of which are based in Indiana, thought the houses would be personal residences.
The scheme included 31 Indianapolis properties and one in Greenwood, the office said. Most of the houses were valued at $30,000 to $60,000.
U.S. Attorney Timothy Morrison said the district has convicted nearly 60 people in mortgage fraud cases covering nearly $40 million in loan losses since launching an emphasis on fraud in 2002.
Morrison added that it's too early, and the cases too numerous, to estimate when the glut will pass.
"We're so far into the tunnel, we can't see the light," he said.