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.
CLAYTON, Mo. (AP) — Missouri authorities are trying to determine what to do with at least 1,700 concealed-carry permit holders who received their required firearms training from a man accused of shortchanging his students.
Fifty-two-year-old Donald Crangle is charged in St. Louis County Circuit Court with seven misdemeanor counts in the case. His attorney, Williams Buchholz, didn't immediately return a phone message from The Associated Press.
The St. Louis Post-Dispatch reports that an investigation began when a permit applicant presented a certificate showing he'd received eight hours of firearms training that very day. The St. Louis County police records clerk was stumped because it was only 1:30 p.m.
Undercover officers then attended Crangle's class. Police said participants were told they'd completed the course after just three hours and without meeting any state-mandated criteria.
Missouri Attorney General Chris Koster announced Thursday that Patrick Percival Wilson pleaded guilty to two felony counts of exploitation of the elderly, one count of stealing by deceit and one count of unlawful merchandising practices. The attorney general's office was appointed special prosecutor in the case.
Koster says an elderly couple from Perryville was scammed into believing they won a sweepstakes of $85 million. Wilson and his colleagues convinced the couple to send money to pay taxes and fees for their winnings.
Wilson told authorities that he received at least $67,000 of the money. The rest was sent to Jamaica.