Tuesday, December 1, 2020

Former President of First Mortgage company indicted on fraud charges

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A federal grand jury returned a 24-count indictment charging Ronald J. McCord, 69, of Oklahoma City, with defrauding two banks, Fannie Mae and others, Timothy J. Downing, U.S. attorney for the Western District of Oklahoma, said on Thursday. 

The charges include bank fraud, money laundering, and making a false statement to a financial institution. McCord is the former president of First Mortgage Company, an Oklahoma City-based mortgage lending and loan servicing company. 

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The indictment alleges a broad range of fraudulent conduct spanning approximately three years. McCord is charged with defrauding SpiritBank and Citizens State Bank, two state-chartered financial institutions, as well as their residential mortgage subsidiaries, American Southwest Mortgage Corp. and American Southwest Mortgage Funding Corp. 

According to the indictment, a 2016 independent audit discovered that McCord had sold more than $14 million in Spirit and Citizens loans “out of trust” by failing to repay mortgage loans the bank’s initiated when the loans were refinanced or otherwise paid of First Mortgage Co. carried outstanding balances of $200 million with Spirit and $140 million with Citizens State Bank. 

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The indictment alleges McCord defrauded Fannie Mae by diverting escrow money intended to pay homeowners’ taxes, insurance, principal, and interest, to cover FMC’s operating expenses. 

The indictment further alleges that McCord laundered the stolen escrow monies by using the funds to write himself checks, pay more than half the purchase price of his son’s $900,000 Oklahoma City home and build a custom vacation home in Colorado. 

With regard to the bank fraud and false statement to a financial institution charges in the indictment, McCord faces up to 30 years in prison and a fine of up to $1 million on each count. He also faces up to 10 years in prison and a $250,000 fine on each of the money laundering counts.

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